Gardaí are cracking down on retailers selling non-essential items under level five restrictions.
Over the weekend, they tweeted several photos of compliance checks across several different shops.
Under level five restrictions, retail businesses can stay open for essential retail purposes only.
The guidelines state: "Retailers with mixed retail offering which have discrete spaces for essential and non-essential retail should make arrangements for the separation of relevant areas."
Compliance checks on Retail Premises today.
In line with Level 5 restrictions Retail Businesses can stay open for essential retail purposes only. Working together we can all make the difference #holdfirm #InThisTogether #WashYourHands pic.twitter.com/lrgTxKfSZH
— Garda Info (@gardainfo) October 25, 2020
Consumer journalist Siobhan Maguire told Newstalk Breakfast Gardaí have to be seen to be keeping larger outlets in check.
"I think what the Gardaí are doing in terms of checking in on the bigger supermarkets is to try and appease the smaller retailers somewhat.
"We've a very uneven playing field in retail at the moment where the smaller shops are shuttered, the toy shop can't open, but supermarkets selling toys can still operate and are fully functional."
"This week we have some supermarkets rolling out Christmas gifts and wrapping paper and decorations - and you have other shops that are completely closed down and have to operate on click and collect or go online to try and make some kind of a living.
"It seems very, very unfair.
"So I do think the Garda checks were for show, to show the smaller retailers 'Look, we're doing our best to try and clamp down on bigger retailers taking advantage of of this'".
But she said there seems to be a bigger social conscience from consumers in this lockdown.
"For the consumer, it's just that little bit of freedom of being able to go into a shop and pick up something other than the bread and milk I think that they enjoy.
"But I think there's much more of a social conscience this time around in lockdown two.
"We all remember in lockdown one where the pallets of paints and the shrubbery were being rolled out in supermarkets because other shops couldn't sell them.
"And I think the consumer now is a little bit peeved if toys are being rolled out in one shop, but the small toy shop two doors up is closed".