Donegal Deputy Charlie McConalogue has written to the Taoiseach and the Minister for Health today to call for the immediate correction of a lacuna in Ireland’s Covid-19 travel restrictions.
The loophole suggests that gardaí do not have the power to arrest day-visitors from Northern Ireland if they are found to breach the non-essential travel ban.
The level of cross-border movement in Donegal has sparked concern over the implications of this gap in the law, which was brought to light on Saturday.
Charlie McConalogue TD said he has raised those concerns with government today.
He said: “I have written today to the Taoiseach and the Minister for Health expressing the particular concern of those living in border areas and requesting that the enforcement regulations be amended immediately to give Gardaí the power to enforce the restrictions with everyone regardless of where they are from.
“While it is the case that new legislation cannot pass in the Oireachtas until a new Government is in place, it is possible for the Minister for Health to amend these regulations as he was granted these emergency powers in legislation recently passed by the Dail and Seanad.
“I will be seeking that this matter is clarified immediately and that necessary amendments to the regulations are urgently introduced so that gardaí can continue their good work in ensuring that the movement restrictions are adhered to by everyone.”
Deputy McConalogue added that the majority of people have made a massive effort to restrict their movements in recent weeks, but the allocation of enforcement powers to gardaí was important in ensuring that everyone changed their behaviour.
“While the vast majority have and will continue to follow the public health advice and make the immense personal sacrifices that come with that, it is essential that the Gardaí have the powers necessary to ensure that anyone that does not follow the advice can be fully cautioned,” Deputy McConalogue said.Tags: