In support of Level 5 under the Framework for Living with COVID-19 which commenced on the 22nd October 2020, An Garda Síochána in Cork City and Nationwide, as highlighted by An Garda Síochána on Thursday 19 November 2020, increased their patrols and engagement particularly in relation to gathering in large groups in open spaces.

This has seen increased Garda activity on foot, mountain bikes and vehicle patrols in identified public spaces.

On Saturday evening between approximately 5pm and 9pm large numbers of people socialised in Cork City Centre. The high visibility of members on the street greatly assisted in engaging with the public who were overwhelmingly compliant with Public Health guidelines, Gardaí identified that most persons present were part of family groups and bubbles that were in the city to see the Christmas lights, window shopping and enjoying take away festive drinks and food. Cork City centre was quiet after 9pm. Gardaí nationwide observed significant compliance by members of the public with public health regulations and guidelines.

Image: An Garda Síochána

During the course of the evening, in Cork City Centre, Gardaí observed and intervened with a group of young males suspected of being involved in the sale and supply of illegal drugs. One male ran from Gardaí who after a brief chase intercepted and arrested this male. This engagement has been captured and circulated widely on social media. A quantity of suspected cocaine was recovered. One Garda received minor facial injuries during the incident. During this incident, and as a result of a small number of other, mainly related, minor public order incidents 9 males were arrested by Gardaí;

  • 4 males have been released pending the completion of a file for the Director of Public Prosecutions
  • 1 male has been charged with public order offences
  • 1 male will be offered an Adult Caution
  • 2 juvenile males will be processed through the Juvenile Diversion Programme

From the outset in supporting the COVID-19 public health guidelines and regulations, An Garda Síochána has and will continue to adopt, a graduated policing response based on its tradition of policing by consent. This has seen Garda members engage, explain, encourage and, as a last resort, enforce.

An Garda Siochana is committed to acting in a proportionate manner and working with the community to achieve compliance.

The COVID-19 Pandemic remains a public health crisis and An Garda Síochána continues to appeal to all citizens to comply with Public Health Guidelines and Regulations, in particular essential journeys, in order to continue to save lives.

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