Deputy John Paul Phelan asked the Minister for Justice the number of fines that have been issued for non-essential travel by county in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [47790/21]
521. Deputy John Paul Phelan asked the Minister for Justice if an appeals process exists for fines issued for non-essential travel during the Covid-19 lockdown; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [47791/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Heather Humphreys): I propose to take Questions Nos. 520 and 521 together.
As the Deputy will be aware, An Garda Síochána is responsible for policing the criminal offences in the public health regulations made under the Health Act 1947.
The Health (Amendment) Act 2020, which amended the Health Act 1947 to provide a new system of fines under the Act were introduced by the Minister for Health in November 2020. The Act allowed for a system of fixed charge notices for people who breached certain COVID-19 regulations which had been designated as penal provisions. A person has 28 days to pay the fixed charge after it is issued but, as the Deputy will be aware, it is also open to anyone who has received a Fixed Charge Notice to apply to have it cancelled within 28 days of receiving the notice, or to choose to appear in court following a summons for the unpaid fine.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that the table at the following link shows the number of fines issued by month up to 12 th August 2021. The specific breakdown requested by the Deputy is not available.
The Deputy will be aware that non-essential travel is no longer an offence.
The Deputy may be interested to note that the reports produced by the Policing Authority on policing performance by An Garda Síochána during the COVID-19 period contain a breakdown of the total number of COVID related fines by Region and Division. These reports are published at: www.policingauthority.ie/en/about-us/detail/oversight-of-covid-19-policing.
This information is also available at the Garda website, at www.garda.ie/en/about-us/our-departments/office-of-corporate-communications/news-media/coronavirus-covid-19-.html Question No. 521 answered with Question No. 520.