Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice, Martin Kenny TD has said that caution must be exercised and the gardaí must be involved in the decision-making process regarding Covid-19 penalties.
His comments follow news that the Covid-19 cabinet sub-committee is considering fines for breaches of health regulations.
Teachta Kenny said:
“While our instinct would be against the imposition of penalties, conscious of the seriousness of the situation, we await whatever proposals come from government on this matter.
“While there is great frustration among the majority of the population, who are observing the pandemic health regulations to the letter, with those who are flouting regulations, there is no point in introducing penalties, including fines and imprisonment, if they cannot be implemented.
“There are obvious difficulties for gardaí on the side of the road making decisions as to the importance of a person’s journey outside their county, or the essential nature of their work if they are commuting.
“If penalties are to be introduced for not wearing masks or for travel beyond recommended limits, then the gardaí must be given clear guidelines and garda officers must be involved in the decision-making process regarding how these penalties are to be administered.”