Gardai in Athlone have confirmed that no fixed charged penalty notices were issued for breaches of Covid-19 regulations after they attended a church in Athlone on Sunday morning.
Officers spoke to a number of people who gathered at the church in the town for an early morning mass just after 10am.
Video footage of gardai speaking to people inside the church and outside has been shared online and Gardai have confirmed to Shannonside FM that officers engaged with those present and all persons complied with direction from Gardaí.
The Garda Press office has issued the following statement on the incident:
Gardaí attended the scene of an event that took place on Sunday 18th April, 2021 at Athlone, Co. Westmeath at 10.15am.
Gardaí engaged with those present and all persons complied with direction from Gardaí.
The Health Act 1947 (Section 31A-Temporary Restrictions) (Covid-19) (No.10) Regulations 2021, as amended, are currently in force.
In supporting the COVID-19 public health guidelines and regulations, An Garda Síochána has and will continue to adopt, a graduated policing response based on its tradition of policing by consent. This has seen Gardaí engage, explain, encourage and, as a last resort, enforce.
Where Gardaí identify potential breaches of the public health regulations a file is prepared for the DPP in each case or a Fixed Payment Notice is issued where appropriate.
The COVID-19 Pandemic remains a public health crisis and An Garda Síochána continues to appeal to all citizens to demonstrate personal and social responsibility to comply with Public Health Guidelines and Regulations in order to continue to save lives’.