Gardaí issue more than 50 fines for drinking in public

Enjoying the sunshine at Spanish Arch.

Gardaí have issued more than 50 fines for drinking in public areas following the introduction of a ban 16 months ago.

Five €100 fines were slapped on ‘bushers’ last weekend.

Over the past two weeks during the recent fine spell, Gardaí have stepped up their patrols on areas where large crowds traditionally congregate in sunny weather.

At least three Gardaí were on duty at the Spanish Arch last Sunday and as a result there was very little evidence of people drinking alcohol despite the big crowd and scorching temperatures.

A Garda spokesperson said the biggest problem they are encountering is that people who are ‘bush drinking’ are either not aware of the bylaws or did not know they could be forced to cough up cash if caught.

“We prefer to take a proactive approach and tell people what they are doing is illegal and get them to move on if they have drink. In some cases we take names if we think they are repeat offenders. It’s only as a last resort we issue fines if they are not cooperative.

“In most cases they are compliant, but we find they move on so it’s like hunting sheep – they move to the Long Walk, Bruach na Coiribe along the canal or at Waterside behind the courthouse, so we have to continue patrols in those spots.”
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