Written answers

Thursday, 15 October 2020

Department of Justice and Equality

Covid-19 Pandemic

Sorca Clarke (Longford-Westmeath, Sinn Fein)
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236. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality her plans to reconsider Operation Fanacht and Garda checkpoints in view of the disruption to persons commuting to and from work. [30648/20]

Photo of Helen McEnteeHelen McEntee (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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The Deputy will be aware that the Garda Commissioner is by law responsible for the management of An Garda Síochána, including operational matters and the deployment of resources. As Minister, I have no role in these matters. I am assured, however, that Garda management keeps all operational deployments under continual review in the context of policing priorities, to ensure their optimum use.

An Garda Síochána began implementation of the current phase of Operation Fanacht on 7 October 2020 as a high visibility nationwide operation in support of the Government’s decision to move the country to Level 3 of the National Framework for Living with COVID-19.

Under Operation Fanacht, An Garda Síochána has established a network of 132 large-scale checkpoints on main arterial routes. In support of these static checkpoints An Garda Síochána has carried out hundreds of additional mobile checkpoints in town and villages across the country over the last number of days.

The Deputy will appreciate that these checkpoints are in place to support the public health guidelines in relation to travel restrictions. COVID-19 remains a real threat to all of us and in particular to our most vulnerable citizens. This is a critical time for our country and we all have a responsibility to comply with the public health guidelines and regulations for the good of everyone.

The Government would once again ask people to re-think their journeys and to not travel outside of their county unless it is for essential purposes. This is a public health regulation under Level 3 and it is An Garda Síochána’s function to check compliance as part of the national effort to reduce the spread of the pandemic.

The Deputy will appreciate that fewer journeys means fewer interactions means fewer chances for COVID-19 to spread.

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