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18 May 2022

New curfew rules to spark rise in public order incidents, says Longford councillor

New curfew rules to spark rise in public order incidents, says Longford councillor

Newly enforced public health guidelines allied to “mixed messages” from government bosses are threatening to derail the public's confidence in tackling the rise in Covid case numbers.

Fine Gael Cllr Paraic Brady issued the stark warning, adding the worsening crisis and curfew placed on hospitality could lead to a spike in public order incidents over the festive period.

“The youngsters have lost faith in the mixed messages that have come from government,” he said.

“The problem is the pubs will be opening earlier which means the youngsters will be going out earlier and then on to house parties after the pubs have closed.

The former chair of the Dublin Mid Leinster HSE Health Forum expressed his own concern over whether many of the county's younger populous would heed the advice of public health and government officials.

“These people were told to go out and get vaccinated and that things would return to normal, but for whatever reason the vaccines haven't proven as effective as expected, but the mixed messages (from government) hasn't helped.”

Cllr Brady's two HSE forum members, chairperson PJ Reilly and Paul Ross both urged the wider public to double down on their efforts to limit socialisation levels over Christmas.

Cllr Ross admitted the recent onset of the Omicron variant had “blindsided” people, insisting it was now, more important than ever that the wider public limited their social interaction as much as possible.

“Things have got to a critical juncture again,” added Cllr Reilly.

“It's very important that people pay attention to the regulations and reduce the level of intermixing with each other as much as possible.”

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