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27/09/2021

Fines handed down at Longford court for breaches of Covid regulations

Longford Courthouse.

A number of €250 fines for breaches of Covid-19 regulations during level five lockdown were handed out at a sitting of Longford District Court last week.

A number of €250 fines for breaches of Covid-19 regulations during level five lockdown were handed out at a sitting of Longford District Court last week.

A number of defendents appeared for travelling outside their five kilometres for what gardaí deemed to be non-essential reasons.

Others were fined for travelling in a car with someone from another household while not wearing a mask.

John Keenan, 5 Palace Crescent, Longford, was charged with organising an event during level five lockdown just days after he had received a €500 fixed charge penalty notice for hosting a party at his household.

“He received a fixed charge penalty notice and paid it but a few days later his wife and daughters were in the house and he wasn’t there,” explained defence solicitor, Bríd Mimnagh.

Mr Keenan explained that on the date in question - February 4, 2021 - his wife and three daughters were in the house playing music when a garda came to the house for a bail check on one of his daughters.

“I was away visiting someone,” he said.

“Again, a breach of Covid, having already had a party not long beforehand and getting a fine,” said Judge Hughes

“I had that fine already paid,” said Mr Keenan.

“The point I’m making is you would be well up on Covid regulations,” said Judge Hughes.

Sgt Mark Mahon, for the state told the court that, at 11pm on February 4, a number of people had gathered in the house that weren’t residents.

“They’re in the same bubble. The daughters went to see the mother across the road,” Ms Mimnagh argued.

Mr Keenan explained that his three daughters were regularly calling over to his house to see their parents.

“How many parents couldn’t meet their sons and daughters or didn’t want to because they didn’t want to get a virus?” asked Judge Hughes.

“We all had the virus. Every one of us,” said Mr Keenan, “my wife was in bed for three days.”

“How do you think it came into the house?” asked Judge Hughes.

“I suppose one person got it and brought it in,” Mr Keenan admitted.

“That’s how it works,” Judge Hughes quipped.

“I wonder if it came in at an event in the house,” mused Sgt Mahon.

Finalising the matter, Judge Hughes fined Mr Keenan €250 for the gathering, with three months to pay. He was also fined €250 for a separate charge of not having tax on his vehicle.

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