Publicans risk the immediate closure of their pubs and losing their licences if they are found breaching Covid-19 public health measures:
Publicans risk the immediate closure of their pubs and losing their liquor licences if they are found breaching Covid-19 public health measures during new inspections on pubs, senior Garda sources have told The Irish Times.
Garda Headquarters in Phoenix Park, Dublin yesterday evening said it had instructed gardaí across the country to begin inspections in pubs from 7pm to ensure they were adhering to the public health measures – a significant ramping-up of the approach that had been planned.
Deputy Garda Commissioner John Twomey said it had initially been the Garda’s intention to carry out “spot checks” on pubs, rather than inspecting all pubs.
“However, it now appears that just a few days after their introduction, some licensed premises and their customers are ignoring the public health guidelines,” he said. “This is not acceptable and we are now expanding our planned checks.”
Because of concerns being expressed by members of the public as well as gardaí around the country and people in the pub trade, the initial plan to carry out spot checks had been escalated to Garda members being directed to check all pubs that were now opened in their areas.
Senior officers have told The Irish Times if pubs were found to be flouting the rules, they faced the prospect of being closed and/or losing their licence.
Gardaí have no specific powers to close a pub on the spot, but if Garda members find what they regard as unsafe conditions in pubs, they can alert the Health & Safety Authority (HSA) and it can apply to the High Court for an order that would force a pub to close over risks to health and wellbeing.
A number of Garda sources said the new inspections would initially be “light touch”.