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An Garda Síochána reintroduces ‘Operation Fanacht’ nationwide to support public health guidelines

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Following the Government’s decision to move the country to Level 3 of the National Framework for Living with COVID-19, An Garda Síochána will re-commence ‘Operation Fanacht’, from midnight tonight (Tuesday), as a nationwide policing operation focused on supporting public compliance with public health measures.

Under Level 3, people are being encouraged not to travel out of their county unless for essential reasons. In support of this announcement there will be high visibility patrolling by Garda members across the country with the focus of this activity continuing to be encouraging people to adhere to national public health measures.

It will involve 132 large-scale checkpoints a day on main arterial routes around the country in addition to thousands of mobile checkpoints on secondary routes in towns and villages a week.

"An Garda Síochána’s priority is keeping people safe,” Commissioner Drew Harris said. “This will be a major policing operation across the country with high visibility of Garda members to support public health measures. An Garda Síochána is encouraging people not to travel out of their county unless it is for essential purposes. We want to advise people that we will be conducting major checkpoints on main routes and travelling by road from tomorrow will be different from travelling today. People using the roads are likely to face delays.”

Since the start of the pandemic, An Garda Síochána has adopted a graduated policing approach based on its tradition of consent, he added.

“We have seen compliance by the vast majority of the public with this approach. Independent surveys have also found significant public support for it. We will continue to police in this way. We have also had a strong focus on the protecting and supporting the vulnerable. That will continue as well. If you need our help, please contact your local Garda station.”

As an organisation rooted in the community, An Garda Síochána understands the difficulties these measures place on everybody.

“More than ever, we all need to work together and adhere to public health guidelines and regulations to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.”

Community Response

An Garda Síochána remains committed to supporting the most vulnerable in society, particularly the elderly and those at risk. They have always worked closely with communities and will continue to do so in these extraordinary times.

"An Garda Síochána will continue to play our part to assist and support people, particularly those who are vulnerable and feeling isolated,” Deputy Commissioner John Twomey Policing and Security said.

“Your local Gardaí are here to help whether that is delivering medical prescriptions, collecting your pension or other supports you may need. Any person with these concerns for themselves or for a neighbour please contact your local Garda station.”

Operation Faoiseamh

Deputy Commissioner Twomey added, "Victims of domestic abuse remain a priority for An Garda Síochána. Our dedicated operation – ‘Operation Faoiseamh’ continues. This has seen thousands of contacts made with victims of domestic abuse, as well as arrests and over one hundred prosecutions commenced. During this phase of our response to COVID-19 the Garda National Protective Service Bureau and Divisional Protective Service Units will remain fully resourced. There are now Divisional Protective Service Units in every Garda Division.

"If you are a victim of domestic abuse or you know of a family member or friend who is a victim and may not be in a position to help themselves, I ask that you make contact with An Garda Síochána. If you require urgent assistance or support, please call 999 or 112. We are here to listen, to help and to protect.”

Operation Navigation

‘Operation Navigation’, which focuses on compliance with public health regulations by licensed premises, will continue nationwide and An Garda Síochána will enforce penal regulations using their graduated response. Where Gardaí find potential breaches of the public health regulations a file is prepared for the DPP in each case.

At this time, there has been no change to the role of specialist units (Special Tactics & Operations Command (STOC), Special Crime Operations, Detective/Drugs Units and Divisional Protective Service Units DPSUs) nationwide. These units will continue to support the community and Garda colleagues with a range of specialist services, and An Garda Síochána will continue to investigate and detect crimes which have continued throughout the pandemic to date.

From the start of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic An Garda Síochána has and will continue to adopt, a graduated policing response based on its tradition of policing by consent. An Garda Síochána’s response has been fair and proportionate.

In respect of regulations, including travel restrictions, which are not declared to be Penal Regulations under the Health Act 1947 as amended, An Garda Síochána will utilise the following three Es from the 4E approach - engage, explain and encourage, only.

In respect of regulations which are declared to be Penal Regulations under the Health Act 1947 as amended, An Garda Síochána adopts the approach of the Four Es which sees Gardaí engage, educate, encourage, and as a last resort, enforce. Where Gardaí find potential breaches of the public health regulations a file is prepared for the DPP in each case.

While An Garda Síochána will seek to encourage people to maintain the necessary public health measures, it will intervene where there is non-compliance with public health regulations.

An Garda Síochána wants to take this opportunity to remind everyone of the basic ways to protect yourself:

• Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub if your hands are not visibly dirty

Practice good respiratory hygiene, that is, when coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue

• Maintain physical distancing, that is, leave at least two metres (six feet) distance between yourself and other people, particularly those who are coughing, sneezing and have a fever

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth – if you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your contaminated hands, you can transfer the virus from the surface to yourself

• Reduce your social interactions

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Better late than never Christmas present for St Francis Special School

By Sean Moriarty St Francis Special School received a very late Christmas present this week – a specially adapted bike for the pupils to use. Husband and wife team Ciaran […]

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By Sean Moriarty

St Francis Special School received a very late Christmas present this week – a specially adapted bike for the pupils to use.

Husband and wife team Ciaran and Karen Dwyer, directors of Guerin Engineering and Pumps Ltd in Kilcummin, presented the special adapted bicycle to the staff and pupils at the Beaufort school on Tuesday.

After seeing an online request last December that the school needed the bike, they decided to gift one.

They contacted Glencar Medical, a Dublin-based firm that specialises in the supply of equipment to schools like St Francis, and ordered the bicycle.

However, nothing is straightforward in the current climate, Brexit, COVID and war all contributed to a delay in getting the bike to Ireland. Once it was in Dublin there were further delays in sourcing the special straps that St Francis’ children need to ride the bike safely.

It all came to a happy ending this week when the Dwyers were finally able to present their Christmas present to the school.

“We saw this request and we contacted the school and said we wanted to buy one, they told us where to get one, and we ordered it,” Karen told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We had it paid for by the end of the year but then it took three months to get it into the country. It took more time to import the specialist parts. The costs were increasing but we did not mind at all.”

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Jordan Lee to tell his story to the county’s schools

Paralympian Jordan Lee will share his experiences with schools all over Kerry. The Killarney man has embarked on a countywide tour ‘Jordan’s Drive’ in association with Kelliher’s Garage, a series […]

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Paralympian Jordan Lee will share his experiences with schools all over Kerry.

The Killarney man has embarked on a countywide tour ‘Jordan’s Drive’ in association with Kelliher’s Garage, a series of informal talks on his achievements and how he overcame his disability to reach the top of his chosen sport.

The 21-year-old was born with a foreshortened left arm known as amniotic band syndrome but has enjoyed a successful sports career which included representing Ireland at the Tokyo Olympics last summer.

Now he wants to share his story and inspire other students to follow their dreams.

His tour started last week at Colaiste na Sceilge in Cahersiveen and over the next few weeks, depending on his training schedule, will visit schools in Firies, Milltown, and Killarney.

“Don’t be afraid of people with disabilities or different backgrounds,” he said. “A few years ago there was only typical people in classrooms – you never came across people with disabilities or from various different countries. It is a lot more mixed now. I want to inspire people to treat everyone on the same level.”

‘Jordan’s Drive’ is made possible thanks to his role as a brand ambassador for Kelliher’s Garage, dealer principal, Tim Kelliher explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

“Having got to know Jordan so well over the last couple of years we have come to realise how much of an inspiration he is so we decided to ask him to hop into his Toyota CHR Hybrid and bring his story out into the highways and byways of the Kingdom,” he said.

“Headlined ‘Jordans Drive’ and organised by my marketing team headed by Yvonne McMahon they have travelled to many of the schools around Kerry from Cahersiveen to Beaufort, Killorglin and with other dates planned for Firies and Milltown to name but a few. He has spoken his many words of wisdom to the children who have been in awe of the journey and his achievements, and we at Kelliher’s Garage are delighted and proud to have him as our brand ambassador.”

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