A national breakdown of fines issued by Gardaí during the pandemic, contained in the latest Policing Authority report.

Local gardaí issue 700 Covid fines

Local gardaí have issued 700 fines for breach of COVID-19 restrictions since the beginning of the pandemic.

The Policing Authority, which oversees the work of An Garda Siochána, has released its latest report on the performance of the organisation during the pandemic.

Cavan-Monaghan Garda members issued 700 fines over the course of the pandemic for Covid-related offences, one of the highest figures among rural Garda divisions.

It compares to 487 in Meath and 693 in Louth over the same period, up to November 27.

Roscommon-Longford and Sligo-Leitrim divisions recorded 529 and 512 fines respectively.

Only Donegal, Galway, Limerick and Waterford, as well as two of Cork’s three divisions and four of Dublin’s six, recorded a higher number of fines.

The Policing Authority says just 47% of fines issued nationally have been paid to date, while the remainder either already have or will result in court proceedings. Earlier this year, the Authority noted its reservations about the increasing use of fines during the pandemic due to the unfair burden they have on people who are less well-off and the pressures they could place on the Courts system.

Nationally, 23,112 fines have been issued, the majority - 15,016 - were issued for leaving home without a reasonable excuse. The week between February 26 and March 4 saw the most fines issued across the country.

Garda welfare

The Policing Authority has also highlighted the work of Garda members throughout the pandemic and paid tribute to their effort.

It notes gardaí “have been subject to physical and verbal assaults from a minority of the public including the ‘weaponising’ of coughing and spitting”.

It condemned the attacks, describing them as “repugnant”, particularly as incidents, including spitting, have continued throughout the pandemic.