Summary: Irish Police aka Gardai can be seen entering a Catholic Church during a Mass in Athlone, Ireland in a shocking video posted on social media on Sunday.
According to Gardai, they received a call on Sunday morning reporting an alleged COVID breach at Corpus Christi Church in Connaught Gardens, Athlone.
According to Shannonside FM, officers spoke with a number of people who gathered at an Athlone church for an early morning mass shortly after 10 a.m.
Video footage of police officers speaking with people inside church in Athlone was shared all over the social media.
Public religious services are currently prohibited under coronavirus lockdown restrictions in Ireland.
A spokesperson of Gardai said that police officers engaged with those present in the Church and that all complied with police (garda’s) direction.
According to Gardai, No fines were issued to the 50 to 60 people who attended a Mass in Athlone on Sunday.
Full statement of Ireland’s Police (Gardai) on Athlone Church Incident:
An Garda Síochána does not comment on material, including video footage, published online by third parties.
We can confirm that Gardaí attended the scene of an event that took place on Sunday 18th April, 2021 at Athlone, Co. Westmeath at 10.15am.
Gardaí engaged with those present and all persons complied with direction from Gardaí.
The Health Act 1947 (Section 31A-Temporary Restrictions) (Covid-19) (No.10) Regulations 2021, as amended, are currently in force.
In supporting the COVID-19 public health guidelines and regulations, An Garda Síochána has and will continue to adopt, a graduated policing response based on its tradition of policing by consent. This has seen Gardaí engage, explain, encourage and, as a last resort, enforce.
Where Gardaí identify potential breaches of the public health regulations a file is prepared for the DPP in each case or a Fixed Payment Notice is issued where appropriate.
The COVID-19 Pandemic remains a public health crisis and An Garda Síochána continues to appeal to all citizens to demonstrate personal and social responsibility to comply with Public Health Guidelines and Regulations in order to continue to save lives.