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Gardai dispersed a group of people as they celebrated a deceased’s birthday in cemetery

LIMERICK: About 200 people were dispersed by Gardai in a cemetery in Co Limerick as they celebrated a deceased’s birthday. The crowd gathered at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Rathkeel in violation of COVID-19 public health guidelines.

The incident took place around 3pm on Sunday (yesterday) 28th February. The group, which played loud music from a stereo system, was cleared by Gardai from the cemetery.

“The organisers of the gathering were identified and those present dispersed peacefully. No arrests were made,” a Garda spokesman said. However he added that: “The Health Act 1947 (Section 31A-Temporary Restrictions) (Covid-19) (No.10) Regulations 2020, 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,” he said.

Meanwhile, a local source said that a large number of people had gathered in Rathkeale for funerals and weddings during the pandemic, but this time it was just ridiculous. “Some people think they are above the law, they say they want respect but they have to earn respect,” it said.

Gardai are investigating specifically following reports that 150 people attended a funeral in Rathkeale last month.

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