Monday, January 10, 2022

A Carlow groom received a €250 fine for his role in a ‘day after’ wedding celebration attended by 50 people that breached Covid regulations last March. The man pleaded guilty to a charge of organising a recreational event without taking steps to ensure those attending were of the same household, in contravention of temporary Covid restrictions under the ***Health Act, 1947***.

Inspector Alan Kissane outlined that gardaí attended a property on the Athy Road, Carlow on 26 March 2021 at 9pm. The court was told that 50 people were in a marquee for a wedding celebration with music playing.

Insp Kissane told the court that gardaí spoke to the 26-year-old defendant, who said he had organised the event. The defendant was co-operative with gardaí, the court was told. A fixed-charge penalty notice (FCPN) was issued, but was not paid.

Defending solicitor Brendan O’Flaherty said the event had been held the day after the wedding. Mr O’Flaherty said two relatives of the defendant had been fined for organising the event and found it “quite strange” that his client had also been summoned to court for the offence.

Where does it stop with prosecutions?” asked the solicitor.

Prior to evidence being heard, Mr O’Flaherty had highlighted to the judge that his client had not organised the celebration but had simply being the groom.

Judge Geraldine Carthy replied: “Did he object to it? Did he say ‘stop, you are beaching Covid regulations that are in place’?”

Mr O’Flaherty said he had not, but was seeking some sympathy considering his client was newly married. Insp Kissane added that the defendant had been “very co-operative” with gardai.

Full story in tomorrow’s edition of the Nationalist

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