Irish man caught making 900 mile trip to Wales during lockdown just to buy a car

Irish man caught making 900 mile trip to Wales during lockdown just to buy a car

AN IRISH man was fined for breaching travel restrictions after being caught trying to buy a car in Wales.

Harry O'Rourke had remarkably embarked on a 900-mile-long journey, from Co. Cork to the west of Wales before being stopped by police.

The 24-year-old had initially travelled to Plymouth on England's south-west coast to pick up his new car, and looked to take the ferry back home across the Irish Sea from the port in Pembroke.

He made the journey during the first national lockdown in May 2020.

Mr O'Rourke was pulled over in the village of Llanteg and told officers he had travelled to "pick the vehicle up", in spite of strict travel restrictions in both the UK and Ireland prohibiting such journeys.

The Irishman was ordered to pay £1,295 (€1,475) at a Magistrates' Court in Wales on Monday.

The fine consists of of an initial €1,252 fine, €97 in costs and a €125 victim surcharge.

It comes as the Irish Government looks set to impose €2,000 on-the-spot fines for anyone found to be in breach of travel restrictions, particularly those looking to sneak off on holiday over the coming weeks.

The decision was made when it emerged that a whopping 60% of arrivals into Dublin Airport over the course of a week at the end of January were people coming back from holidays.

Figures show that of the 8,218 Irish residents who came through the airport that week, 5,241 were returning from holidays or visits abroad, despite strict travel restrictions being in place since December.