Gardai have used the Covid 19 enforcement powers 139 times since they were introduced.

There was also 52 incidents of spitting or coughing at officers, while anti-spit guards had to be used 28 times over a 4 week period.

Meanwhile, there were 1,172 incidents where other offences such as drink driving, disqualified drivers or drugs seizures were disclosed.

On Friday, 21 of over 13,000 drivers stopped at a Garda checkpoint were asked to turn around for not having a valid reason for travel, and all agreed to do so.

Gardai gave an example of one incident in the north west region, where a car was observed trying to avoid a Covid-19 checkpoint, and almost collided with a woman who was out for a run.

Two occupants - not from the same family - were described as very aggressive from the outset.

Both men were advised of the public health guidelines on unnecessary journeys, but declined the advice and said they were travelling 40km to buy a small part for a trailer.

Neither man knew if the company supplying the part was open, or if the part was available.

They were both formally cautioned and requested to return home.

They declined initially, saying they would stop wherever they wanted.

A file on the matter has been submitted to the DPP's office.








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