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Gardaí issue warnings ahead of bank holiday weekend

News

Edwin McGreal

With a double bank holiday approaching for St Patrick’s Day, Garda chiefs in the county have urged people to take care and obey the law this weekend.
Last Friday’s Mayo Joint Policing Committee (JPC) meeting heard gardaí report an increase in crime figures already this year due to the reopening of society and removal of Covid-19 restrictions.
They are anticipating a busy weekend for the St Patrick’s Day festivities, the first since 2019 that the national holiday will not be curtailed by Covid restrictions.

Booked out
Westport-based Detective Supt Joe McKenna said a lot of hotels and B&Bs are booked out, with large numbers of people expected to come west this weekend, and he urged people to be mindful of others.
“I would ask people to mind themselves and be careful of their drinking habits. I know we all feel we’re like the young suck calf being let out in the field, and it’s all excitement after being inside. We just have to be careful and mind our behaviour.
“Be mindful local people live there when we go visiting other towns and visiting the pubs and night clubs.
“It is an offence to be drunk and it is an offence to be abusive and Covid [restrictions finishing] is no reason to think you can take your restraints off and do what you like. Other people live in this country and they’re due the utmost respect.
“Be mindful of other people’s property and have respect for it. Tidy Towns volunteers do a lot of work. It just seems to be creeping in that people think they can do this because Covid is over and yes, we’re free again.
“With public order offences you might find you’re left with a nice €80 fine or you may find yourself in the prison cell and going to court the next morning. I’d just ask people to be mindful; enjoy, celebrate but be conscious of other people and don’t break the law. Just be respectful to the communities you are visiting,” he said.

Home safe
Supt Gary Walsh, the Community Engagement Superintendent for Ballina and Belmullet, echoed those sentiments.
“It’s a long weekend and it will be the first chance for a lot of people to get out and about. We want everyone to enjoy themselves but to get home safely. We would ask everyone to think about where they are going and to make plans to get home safely,” he said.
Deputising for Supt Tom Calvey on roads policing, Supt Gabriel Moran appealed for people to be responsible in their driving this weekend, particularly warning people not to drink drive or drug drive.
He said there will be more checkpoints for drink driving as well as speeding, driving whilst holding phones and seat-belt usage.

 

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