Friday, January 15, 2021

GARDAÍ have had to reshuffle resources locally after an outbreak of Covid-19 among members at Carlow Garda Station.

The garda station, like many other workplaces in Co Carlow, has been impacted by Covid-19 in recent weeks.

The Nationalist understands that at least half-a-dozen members have recently tested positive, while others were self-isolating. Superintendent Aidan Brennan declined to comment on how many were affected but said garda numbers on duty were being maintained. “We have contingency plans to ensure there are sufficient people on duty at all times and our commitments to the Covid policing plan to maintaining and excellent service to the community.”

He added: “We have had to make some changes, bring in people to cover deficits on shifts. It’s like what many other agencies and businesses are doing. We are working through this. We have to maintain numbers on duty at all times and maintain our services.”

Supt Brennan said it had not been necessary to bring in gardaí from outside Carlow.

Extra precautions are being taken when gardaí interact with the public, while people were advised only to attend the garda station for essential reasons.

“We are conducting a lot of business over the phone,” said Supt Brennan. “We can still visit people’s homes if that needs to be done. We are trying to reduce the amount of people that anyone is meeting on a given day, particularly for the weeks ahead.”

Supt Brennan reiterated his appeal for people to stay at home this month. “We have to be out and about, to engage and encourage people to stay at home. Only leave your home for essential reasons. It’s hard on everyone, I have no doubt, but it’s for the health of the nation to get through the next few weeks. Everyone has to do their bit.”

At Carlow District Court recently, around a dozen cases were adjourned or rescheduled due to defendants or gardaí self-isolating. Judge Geraldine Carthy has also adjourned all civil matters for the month. Solicitors were advised that their clients facing criminal charges should only attend court for their election of summary trial, service of a book of evidence or to attend a hearing or for sentencing.

Criminal hearings which involve state witnesses will all be adjourned for the month of January, although matters related to family law and domestic violence will proceed.


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