Garda commissioner urges public to report coronavirus lockdown cheats

Garda commissioner urges public to report coronavirus lockdown cheats

MEMBERS of the public have been urged to report anyone flouting lockdown restrictions to gardai, particularly over the next few days.

Garda commissioner Drew Harris made the plea ahead of Easter weekend, which is predicted to be a problematic period for authorities trying to keep movement and distancing restrictions in place.

"If people see something that is of concern to them, which they think is something where there is a risk of  the illness being spread on, a further vector for the illness, then they should let us know so that we can act, arrive there, deal with the situation, and hopefully then resolve it," Harris said.

This week, it was announced that gardai have been granted new powers to arrest and prosecute anyone breaching lockdown restrictions.

Mr Harris said that officers will only be using these powers where absolutely necessary and insisted that the their first port of call would be to send people home, rather than fine or arrest them.

Lockdown measures have been difficult to universally enforce as it is, but with good weather and a four-day weekend on its way, it'll likely be even harder, and there are growing fears of public complacency.

Reports emerged last week that Ireland was beginning to 'flatten the curve' and curb the spread of Covid-19, but a long-weekend of mass gatherings and ill-advised plans could well result in a second-wave of illness.

Commissioner Harris insisted that anyone looking to travel to holiday homes this Easter should not do so, as it is "not an essential journey".

"I want to reiterate, a journey to a holiday home is not an essential journey and we will be able to turn you back," he added.