Michael Staines
Michael Staines

06.47 22 Oct 2020


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A major Garda operation has been rolled out across the country as Level Five coronavirus restrictions come into force.

The second lockdown of the year includes some of the most severe restrictions in Europe.

People are being asked not to travel further than 5km from their homes unless they have an essential reason for doing so.

All family gatherings are banned, people are not allowed to visit each other’s homes or gardens and pubs, restaurants and cafes have been reduced to takeaway only.

The Government expects new Garda powers to enforce the restrictions to be in place by next week.

Operation Fanacht

Gardaí have rolled out a “large number” of new checkpoints and patrols with 260 recruits from the Garda Training college in Templemore drafted in to assist with the operation.

They will be fully

Meanwhile, Gardaí who have been carrying out administrative roles are being redeployed to the front line.

Operation Fanacht will see the 132 checkpoints on major roadways remain in place while hundreds of rolling checkpoints are being rolled out on smaller roads.

Members will also be on patrol at the country’s parks, natural beauty spots and public amenities.

Graduated response

Commissioner Drew Harris said all officers will continue to follow the ‘Four Es’ when engaging with the public - Engage, Educate, Encourage and, as a last resort, Enforce.

“There was very good compliance by the public with the travel restrictions when they were in place before,” he said.

“It is vital that we see that high level of compliance again this time. The public health advice is clear. This will help save lives.

"In particular, we would ask people to think about their journeys and not exercise or travel outside the 5km limit unless it meets the essential criteria.

"An Garda Síochána is continuing with our graduated response based on our tradition of policing by consent. "This is a difficult time for everybody but if we all work together, we can reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect our families, friends and neighbours.”

Officers will also be on duty to assist the most vulnerable in society to support them through the restrictions.


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