Donegal TD Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has slammed the Minister for Health for an error in Ireland’s Covid-19 travel restrictions which only permits gardaí to arrest people in breach of the law who reside in this State.
The controversial loophole must be “resolved as soon as possible”, the Sinn Féin TD said, as he added to the calls for an immediate amendment.
Deputy Mac Lochlainn said the laws are vital to prevent a ‘small minority’ of people who may flout restrictions and run the efforts of others to contain the virus.
Teachta Mac Lochlainn said: “The confirmation that the regulations allowing gardaí to enforce the restrictions on movement during this covid-19 crisis can only be applied to those living in this State has understandably caused real anger.
“It’s important to say that the vast majority of our people have been adhering to the movement restrictions, North and South (6 and 26 counties) but these emergency laws are for the very small minority who won’t and who would undermine the immense sacrifice of the many”.
Mac Lochlainn has called on the Minister for Health Simon Harris to immediately amend the regulations.
“It is unacceptable that the Minister and his senior officials have made this error, considering that all government legislation goes through the Attorney General’s office,” he added.
“I will be seeking for this to be resolved as soon as possible. The Minister should immediately amend these regulations as they are underpinned by emergency legislation passed by the Dáil and Seanad.
“And he should ensure that there is a joined up and All Ireland response to this crisis”.