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Question

634. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Justice the number of fines which have been issued for breaches of Covid-19 regulations in each month since the start of the pandemic; the nature of the fines; the value of the fines; and the nature of the breaches which resulted in these fines. [23979/21]

Answer

Minister for Justice (Deputy Heather Humphreys): As the Deputy will be aware, An Garda Síochána is responsible for policing the public health regulations made under the Health Act 1947.
An Garda Síochána continue to use the 'Four E's' approach in line with their strong tradition of community policing and policing by consent. This sees Garda members engage with, encourage and educate members of the public on public health advice and regulations, with enforcement used only as a last resort.
The Health (Amendment) Act 2020, which amended the Health Act 1947, was signed into law by the President on 25 October 2020. Regulations providing for a new system of fines under the Act were subsequently signed by the Minister for Health on 21 November 2020. The Act allows for a system of fixed charge notices for those found in breach of certain COVID-19 regulations which have also been designated as penal provisions. It also allows for a speedier system of fines, without the requirement for the person to be brought before the Courts and prosecuted. A person has 28 days to pay the fine after it is issued.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that the table below shows the number of fines issued by month up 6 May 2021.
Table
* Fines incurred up to 11 April 2021
**Recorded up to 6 May 2021
*** ‘Movement of Persons (€100)’ relates to the offence of non-essential travel beyond your county/20km limit which came into effect on 12 April 2021.
For the Deputy's information, weekly updates in relation to the total number of COVID-19 related fines and the numbers in each Garda division are published every Friday on the Garda website. These statistics can be accessed at:
https://www.garda.ie/en/about-us/our-departments/office-of-corporate-communications/news-media/coronavirus-covid-19-.html