Twenty six pubs across Ireland may be prosecuted for public health breaches following the first week of reopening after lockdown.
A widespread garda operation last weekend uncovered some pubs where there was no evidence of food being served along with alcohol.
The vast majority of licensed premises were found to be in compliance regulations and licensing laws, but 26 pubs were potentially breaching the health regulations or licensing laws even after they were given the opportunity to rectify the situation.
Files will now be prepared for the DPP in each of these cases.
In many of the potential breaches, Gardaí say they found customers consuming alcohol, but no evidence of food also being consumed and no evidence of receipts to show that food had been sold.
Gardaí say they also observed a lack of adherence to public health advice such as allowing large groups at the one table, little to no social distancing, no advisory signage, and no COVID-19 contact tracing being recorded.
Garda Síochána carried out 6,830 checks on licensed premises last weekend as part of ‘Operation Navigation.
2,785 individual licensed premises are currently open for business around Ireland and 2,759 were found to be in compliance with the regulations and laws.
Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, John Twomey said, “The significant number of visits conducted by Gardaí found a large level of compliance among licensed premises. This is very welcome.
“However, we remain concerned that a minority are potentially operating in breach of the regulations. In doing so, they are putting the health of their customers and staff and everyone they come into contact with after at risk of getting COVID-19.
“We are sending a clear message to such premises that we will be opposing their liquor license renewal applications in September unless they come into compliance.
“In addition, the public has shown great restraint and responsibility to date in adhering to the public health guidelines. The reality is that COVID-19 is still here. We all have an individual responsibility to ensure we continue to play our part in reducing the spread of COVID-19 to protect our family, friends and neighbours.”