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'Scant regard for public health' - Garda Chief hits out at Carrick funeral attendees

Mar 29, 2021 17:03 By Shannonside News
'Scant regard for public health' - Garda Chief hits out at Carrick funeral attendees 'Scant regard for public health' - Garda Chief hits out at Carrick funeral attendees
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The most senior Garda in the north-west revealed the extent of the Garda operation to manage a large traveller funeral in Carrick-on-Shannon last month

Fines worth almost €20,000 were issued to people who attended a Traveller funeral in Carrick-on-Shannon earlier this month.

Over 950 garda hours were resourced for the event which was policed for four days - with the Sligo-Leitrim Garda Superintendent Aidan Glacken hitting out at people who had "scant regard' for public health measures.

The controversy surrounding a large Traveller funeral in Carrick-on-Shannon was addressed at the Leitrim Joint Policing Committee meeting this afternoon.

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Councillor Finola Armstrong McGuire, as well as local businessman Kenny Murtagh, raised queries around the garda response to a funeral earlier this month which saw an estimated 300 people arrive into Carrick-on-Shannon.

Mr Glacken claimed that some commentary around the events was "uninformed, ill-judged as well as unhelpful" and said that a number of people were "seemingly reckless" about their actions between March 10th and March 14th.

He claimed that Gardai engaged in discussions with several groups around the funeral and many assurances were provided but "very unfortunately", some of these assurances were not kept.

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He admitted that the actions of some people, who congregated in large gatherings and chose to ignore the public health advice  as well as ignoring advice on the wearing of face coverings in public places was frustrating, and hugely disappointing, showing "scant regard" for public health and "scant regard" for the huge efforts made by the community of Leitrim and across this country over the past 12 months in containing this virus.

He also revealed that the policing plan utilised 950 garda hours, and resulted in five permanent garda checkpoints as well as 177 fixed penalty chares notices being issued as well as fines worth a total of €19,400 being imposed and several cars being seized as well as three arrests.

He confirmed that under current regulations, travel for the purpose of attending a funeral is deemed an essential journey and is not subject to restrictions or the 5km limit. He also reflected on a funeral that occurred last weekend in Carrick which he said was managed in the same way but resulted in more respect and regard for Covid guidance.

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