Gardai in Athlone issue fines at weekend house gathering

Gardai in Athlone have confirmed that a small number of fines were issued in Castletown Geoghegan after they were called out to a house at the weekend.

It comes after the policing authorities nationally said on Monday that in excess of 150 fines were issued for either organising or attending a house party over the weekend in areas of Dublin, Sligo, Galway, Kildare, Kilkenny, Westmeath, Limerick, Cork and Tipperary.

This included some house parties with large groups of up to 30 people at each party, the nationwide figures stated, however, Sgt Andrew Haran from Athlone Garda Station explained that the call in Castletown Geoghegan involved small numbers in a private house.

Accordingly, a small number of fines which he didn't quantify were issued following the gathering.

Sgt Haran said part of the Castletown Geoghegan area comes under the jurisdiction of the Athlone policing district, hence why they were called out after a report from the public.

It was revealed on Monday that more than 3,500 fines have now been issued by gardai for breaches of Covid-19 public health regulations countrywide, in excess of 2,100 of these have been for travel without a reasonable excuse.

As of February 1, a €500 fine applies for a person caught travelling to an airport/port for the purpose of leaving the State without a reasonable excuse, this had previously been €100. Any person organising a house party can face an on-the-spot fine of €500, while those attending can be fined €150.

A €100 fine applies for a person engaged in non-essential travel and there is an €80 fine for not wearing face coverings in certain locations.