A sign on the grounds of St Joseph's Care Centre in Longford town informing members of the public where to go for the purposes of testing for Covid-19 coronavirus
Up to 80 revellers who crammed into a house in Longford town at the weekend for a 21st birthday party are unlikely to face any further criminal sanction despite ongoing fears about Covid-19 social distancing protocols.
Gardaí were forced to step in and shut down the social gathering after receiving reports on Saturday night of rowdy behaviour coming from a house in Longford town.
The Leader revealed on its website on Monday how up to 80 youngsters were found on the premises where a 21st birthday party was taking place despite repeated calls from government and HSE chiefs for members of the public to refrain from holding large gatherings.
It's also believed a small bar had been set up at the back of the house and involved a family that are involved in an ongoing feud in Longford.
The family, who are well known to gardaí, are also heavily involved in money laundering, drug dealing and violent crime.
"They are a scourge and a blight on the community at the best of times and now they are a real threat to the health of the Longford community," said a garda source.
It comes after sustained and repeated warnings came from Health Minister Simon Harris and HSE bosses over the weekend for people to desist from meeting in large groups.
He urged the public to think of frontline health workers and those who are vulnerable as a consequence of the pandemic.
"Not far from here, nurses and doctors are working to prepare for the impact of a global pandemic," he said.
"Everyone is working 24/7. This is an insult to their efforts. There is very clear public health advice. Follow it."
Those pleas were made after St Joseph’s Care Centre was announced as the county’s designated Covid-19 testing site.
To date, there have been over 1,000 cases of coronavirus confirmed nationwide with less than five of those coming in Longford.
But it is the upshot of last weekend’s events in Longford town which has fuelled fears that number could rise significantly.
"Dozens of families could be at risk now because of it," added the garda source.