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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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NPWS survey to find out impact of fires

By Michelle Crean The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has commissioned a comprehensive survey on the impact of fires over the past four decades – in particular Killarney National Park in April. The tender, worth €300,000, and named ‘Study on the Impact of Fires On The Biodiversity of Killarney National Park’, seeks to find […]

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By Michelle Crean

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has commissioned a comprehensive survey on the impact of fires over the past four decades – in particular Killarney National Park in April.

The tender, worth €300,000, and named ‘Study on the Impact of Fires On The Biodiversity of Killarney National Park’, seeks to find out the biological impacts of the fires in the 26,000 acre park.

The fires in April burned from Friday night on April 23 until around 12pm the following Monday when they were finally brought under control.

Parts of the Park were scorched resulting in flora and fauna being wiped out. Some fires came as close as 10 metres to a church and school in the Black Valley area.

Fires raged near Tomies Wood and fire crews from five different districts quenched fires near the properties under threat. A real threat was for The Oak Woods but fire fighters managed to avert danger.

The fire is believed to have begun on the Kenmare Road area escalated by the strong winds.

“The purpose of this tender is to commission a comprehensive survey of the impacts, and the chrono-sequence of fire recovery or otherwise, on lands burned over the past four decades, as well as surveys in unburned areas, in order to assess the biological impacts of the fires, in particular the fire of April 2021, on the biodiversity of Killarney National Park,” an NPWS spokesperson told the Killarney Advertiser.

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Killarney spin will bring comfort to patients

By Michelle Crean Ahead of this year’s ladies only 54321 Challenge a number of spinathons are taking place, including in Killarney town. Sunday, August 15 a group of 10 ladies plan a spinathon day in Killarney ahead of their four day epic adventure from Thursday, August 19 to Sunday 22. This year due to COVID […]

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By Michelle Crean

Ahead of this year’s ladies only 54321 Challenge a number of spinathons are taking place, including in Killarney town.

Sunday, August 15 a group of 10 ladies plan a spinathon day in Killarney ahead of their four day epic adventure from Thursday, August 19 to Sunday 22.

This year due to COVID restrictions the 54321 team will run with two teams of five people, all female – who are raising funds for one single charity – Comfort for Chemo Kerry.

Their four day challenge will include a cycle the Ring of Kerry on day one (Thursday 19), a climb up Carrantuohil on day two (Friday 20), a cycle from Killarney to the foot of Cnoc Na Tobair and then climb Cnoc Na Tobair on day three (Saturday 21) finishing off with a cycle of the Skellig Ring on day four (Sunday 22).

In advance of the ninth annual challenge they will first participate in the spinathons at various locations to help raise much needed funds for this year’s chosen charity.

The first of the spinathons will take place on Saturday, July 31 in Listowel, Killorglin, Dingle, Cahersiveen. On the day volunteers will take to the spinning bikes from 10am to 5pm in different locations around these towns.
This will be followed by Killarney on Sunday, August 15, and Tralee on Saturday, August 28.

When choosing this year’s charity, organisers contacted a past participant and a dear friend, Mairead Dunphy from Glencar who is currently on her own journey with cancer.

“We wanted to show our support to Mairead and knowing that she would like to support those who have supported her on her journey so far, she had already being looking at ideas to raise much needed funds for Comfort for Chemo Kerry,” TJ O’Connor said.

“Please support Comfort for Chemo Kerry by giving what you can.”

For more information about the spinathons go to www.54321challenge.org or the Comfort for Chemo Kerry Facebook page for online donation information.

There’s also a GoFundMe page: ‘Comfort for Chemo Kerry – 54321 Challenge 2021’ which has a €20,000 target set up.

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