Seanad debates

Friday, 16 October 2020

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

 

10:30 am

Garret Ahearn (Fine Gael)

I wish to raise enforcement laws and the powers of the Garda in relation to Covid-19. The last week has been very difficult, particularly for the three counties that have gone to level 4. It is now widely accepted that all other counties are going to be on level 3 for quite some time and will not be coming down from it soon. That means asking people to stay within their counties and asking businesses to remain closed for a long period of time. Most people are abiding by and sticking to the guidelines and recommendations. They are sacrificing an awful lot in their business lives and normal lives to abide by these guidelines. Certain people are not doing so, however. There is a certain group who believe the guidelines do not apply to them. It seems to me and certainly to people who have closed their businesses, including restaurants or pubs, that other people can still carry on as if there is no problem. The Garda Commissioner, Mr. Drew Harris, has said he does not believe extra measures need to be brought forward. Does the Leader agree that if we want people to follow these guidelines, as they previously have, through the winter months, there has to be seen to be a deterrent for those who do not? In other countries fines have been imposed on those leaving their districts or not wearing masks. A small minority of people are behaving in this way, but this virus is so deadly that measures are needed to ensure everyone stays onside.

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