A WOMAN has claimed that she was fined €100 at a Covid-19 checkpoint in Donegal while going to carry out her weekly shopping.
Members of the public in Donegal are concerned at the level of enforcement by Gardaí in the county for breaches of Covid-19 travel restrictions.
One woman claimed she was fined €100 on Friday afternoon for an alleged breach of the 5km travel restriction as she made her way for a shopping.
Two others, who said they had similar reasons for making their journey, who contacted Donegal Daily said they were ‘turned’ by Gardaí at checkpoints.
One young mother from Newtowncunningham claimed that she was traveling to Letterkenny on Friday afternoon to do her weekly shopping when she was fined at a Covid-19 checkpoint at the Manor roundabout,
“I was traveling to Letterkenny from Newtown to do my weekly shopping for the house,” she told Donegal Daily.
“I was stopped by a Garda at the Manor roundabout on the way to Letterkenny. He told me about the 5km limit, which I knew about.
“I explained that I was going to Aldi to do my weekly shopping, but the guard said I could do my shopping in Newtown.
“For a young mother like me on limited income, I simply could not afford to do all of my weekly shop like that. That’s why I go to Aldi once a week to do this and I have now been given one of those €100 fines.
“I think it’s terrible that people should feel forced to shop at a specific shop when their means don’t actually make that possible.”
The woman felt that she was ‘fined in error’.
When contacted, An Garda Síochána referenced a joint press release from the Gardaí, the HSE and Donegal County Council from January, in which the three organisations appealed to the public to abide by the new regulations.
The Government’s Level 5 guidelines, published on the government website, includes ‘food shopping’ as an ‘essential purpose’ for which travel beyond 5k is permitted,
However, when asked for further clarity, a Garda spokesperson said: “We are not providing comment on individual unverifiable reports.
“An Garda Síochána has been consistent in our graduated policing response to supporting public health regulations and guidelines in line with our tradition of policing by consent. This has seen Gardaí engage, explain, encourage and, as a last resort, enforce.”Tags: