Marita Moloney
Marita Moloney

10.57 17 Jan 2021


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A local councillor has appealed to people to stay within their own five kilometre area limit and not to visit the Wicklow Mountains.

More than 100 people were handed on-the-spot fines for breaking lockdown travel rules in Co Wicklow yesterday.

The figures, which are close to triple the number of fines issued nationwide up to Thursday, are in addition to cautions issued to over 200 other drivers who agreed to turn back and go home.

Gardaí received new powers last Monday to issue an on-the-spot fine of €100 to anyone found breaking the travel restrictions under the Public Health Act.

37 people were issued with tickets up to Thursday, including several for alleged offences last weekend.

Gardaí say that while most people are compliant with their roadside instructions, there are still "people who don't want to take that advice".

The force has also asked the public to adhere to public health advice, something the Chief Medical Officer says isn't at the level needed to significantly slow COVID-19 transmission.

Fine Gael Councillor Irene Winters says Wicklow people normally love welcoming visitors, but now is not the appropriate time.

She told Newstalk that by staying at home, you're protecting the health services.

"You don't want to get [COVID-19] from a stranger and you don't want to give it to a stranger," she said.

"Stay in your own area, break the transmission, that's what people need to do.

"In Co Wicklow, we would love people to come and visit us and we do, we want visitors all year but not at the moment.

"Come back in the summer, when the travel restrictions are lifted, but in the meantime, everybody should be staying within their own 5km."

Additional reporting by Stephen Bourke

Main image: The view into the valley of Glendalough from the Wicklow Mountains. Credit: Lars Halbauer/DPA/PA Images

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