Gardaí breakup 200 people gathering at Limerick cemetery in breach of lockdown rules

Gardaí breakup 200 people gathering at Limerick cemetery in breach of lockdown rules

Limerick gardaí broke up a gathering of 200 people at a local cemetery on Sunday.

A police file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions after "a large group of people" had to be dispersed following a “contravention” of Covid-19 travel restrictions.

It is understood that the large group had gathered to celebrate a birthday of one of the deceased at St Joseph’s Cemetery, Rathkeale, Co. Limerick.

Commenting on the incident, the gardaí said in a statement: "Shortly before 3pm on Sunday, February, 28, gardaí from Rathkeale attended at a local cemetery where a large group of people had gathered in contravention of current Public Health measures.

"The organisers of the gathering were identified and those present dispersed peacefully. No arrests were made. A file will be prepared for the DPP and fixed penalty notices will be issued.

"The Health Act 1947 (Section 31A-Temporary Restrictions) (Covid-19) (No.10) Regulations 2020, as amended, are currently in force."

Ahead of the warm weather anticipated on the weekend, gardai cautioned that there would be an enhanced police presence – particularly in busier areas – to deal with those flouting the rules.

The garda statement also warned the public that: "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 gardaí engage, educate, encourage and, as a last resort, enforce.

Where gardaí identify potential breaches of the public health regulations a file is prepared for the DPP in each case or a Fixed Payment Notice is issued where appropriate."