House party surge in Longford as pubs remain shut

Covid-19 second wave fears: Longford gardaí disperse 4 parties

Jessica Thompson

Reporter:

Jessica Thompson

Email:

jessica.thompson@longfordleader.ie

House party surge in Longford as pubs remain shut

As many pubs remain closed and the country fails to progress to the next phase of its reopening for fear of a second wave of Covid-19, gardaí have been responding to reports of house parties and gatherings in Longford.

Last weekend alone, gardaí dealt with at least four parties across the county, with one in Longford, one in Kenagh, one in Edgeworthstown and the other in Granard.

Gardaí were called to a residence in Kenagh shortly after midnight on Sunday, July 19, where approximately 50 youths had gathered for a party and were asked to leave the area. All complied with garda instructions.

Local gardaí also attended a smaller gathering in Granard, where a disturbance was reported.

Gatherings in Edgeworthstown and Longford passed without major incident.

A statement from An Garda Síochána assured that gardaí have been responding to reports and engaging with communities “with a view to implementing the guidelines issued by the government and HSE in order to minimise the impact of Covid-19”.

“In supporting the Covid-19 public health guidelines, An Garda Síochána has adopted a graduated policing response based on its tradition of policing by consent,” Gardaí have said.

“This has seen garda members engage, educate, encourage and, as a last resort, enforce.”

Last week, the government announced that the country would not be progressing to Phase 4 of its roadmap to reopening the country.

The decision came amid fears that a second wave of Covid-19 was on the cards as the number of young people contracting the virus has increased.

County Longford has reported a total of 287 cases of Covid-19 since the pandemic began, making up a total of 1.1% of the national total, which, currently stands at 25,802 

At that stage, the death toll due to Covid-19 stood at 1,753 with a total of eight deaths being reported since last Wednesday, June 15, none of which were reported in the last three days.

The Government's decision to delay the reopening of pubs has sparked calls for an expectant July stimulus jobs package to include specific measures for the licensed industry.

“Not one publican expected their business to be closed from early March to the end of July,” said Fianna Fáil Longford-Westmeath TD Joe Flaherty.

“The unprecedented pandemic has seen many bars and pubs close their doors for good. Those who are preparing to open in August need support.”