A LIMERICK TD has called for the army to be brought in to enforce Level 5 restrictions.
From midnight tonight, Ireland will enter Level 5 of the Government's Living with Covid plan; the strict new measures will see a return to the lockdown seen in March and April this year with some changes including allowing schools to remain open.
Citizens will be told to remain within 5km from their homes except in certain circumstances, such as for essential shopping and for frontline work which cannot be done from home.
Visits to other households, whether indoors or in a garden, will be banned, and all non-essential retail and services will close, until 1 December.
Gardaí are gearing up for the return of checkpoints across the country to ensure people are following the rules, however Independent TD Richard O'Donoghue says these restrictions should be enforced by the army.
The Limerick TD told The Limerick Leader that because more Gardaí are patrolling the roads and motorways, antisocial behaviour in towns have gone up.
"They don't have the amount of recruits they need to do both," Deputy O'Donoghue said.
"Personally, I feel they should bring n the army to do a dual approach at checkpoints and allow the Gardaí to remain in their station."
He criticised the "minority of people who thought they were above getting sick" and who had breached coronavirus guidelines, adding to the rise in cases seen across the country in recent weeks.
"We’ve a minority of people who have no respect for themselves or the people around them, and that’s why we are at level 5,” he told the outlet, saying it was the people and businesses who had followed the rules throughout the pandemic who were being punished with the new restrictions.
"They are not all children," he added.
"They blame the children, and the young adults having house parties. There are plenty of people in their 30s or 40s who have forgotten to grow up and be responsible."
He pleaded with people in Limerick and beyond to follow the Level 5 restrictions so that Ireland can enjoy as normal a Christmas as possible.
It is expected that Ireland will leave Level 5 restrictions on 1 December if numbers are successfully reduced, however it would enter Level 3, where pubs and restaurants can only serve up to 15 customers, and only outdoors.
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar admitted earlier this week that it was "unlikely" pubs and retaurants would reopen before 2021.
Under Level 3, however, household visits-- with some restrictions on numbers-- will be allowed, meaning families can gather for the traditional Christmas dinner.