Longford gardaí in Covid-19 rogue retail clampdown

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Longford gardaí in Covid-19 rogue retail clampdown

Gardaí have come in for praise in ensuring a “level playing field” for Longford’s retail industry amid claims a “certain number” of rogue shops were using health regulation loopholes in a bid to stay open.

Rank and file officers were, and continue to be, out in force in order to ensure businesses are abiding by Level 5 restrictions as the country faces into its third week of lockdown measures.

Those efforts come after concerns had been raised locally of how some shops were reportedly attempting to flout lockdown guidelines by stocking and selling Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to consumers.

One of those concerned voices came from Longford restaurateur Andrew Reynolds who claimed a cohort of retail outlets were refusing to “play fair” in the midst of the current lockdown.

“It is highly evident that many retailers are suddenly deciding to sell ‘essential’ goods such as foods and drink in a bid to stay open while others have been ordered to close and this is simply not fair and indeed incredulous and must be looked at in the current climate where people are already struggling financially as a result of this pandemic,” he said.

Peter Dolan from Spirit Clothing in Longford town said he had been equally aggrieved, but heaped praise on gardaí in ensuring new legislative measures were adhered to.

“I’m happy it’s been addressed now,” he said.

“All I wanted was a level playing field because everyone was trying to do things right, to pivot online and it just wasn’t in the spirit of things.”

“It was great to see the action which was taken by the guards and politicians and you can see the results straight away. At the end of the day we all have to go home, fill our evenings, not go out and about and go where we want to.”