Pubs warned:

Pub­li­cans risk the im­me­di­ate clo­sure of their pubs and los­ing their li­cences if they are found breach­ing Covid-19 pub­lic health mea­sures:

The Irish Times - - Front Page - CONOR LALLY Se­cu­rity and Crime Ed­i­tor

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.”

Ini­tial plan

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”.

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