Peadar Tóibín takes aim at COVID-19 fines and restrictions: Is a hotel pint a kind and unassuming drink and a pub pint homicidal?
Peadar Tóibín has criticised the establishment of a gardaí phoneline to allow people in Donegal to report COVID-19 breaches after it emerged 40,000 people have been fined in the the south under the lockdown legislation.
The Aontú leader was scathing of the restrictions and said some of the measures taken against citizens during the course of the pandemic were 'strange' in a democracy.
"I tabled a parliamentary question last week, which revealed that 40,000 people have been fined so far under the legislation. That is an incredible number of people.
"In County Donegal, a helpline was introduced in order that locals could report on other locals with regard to breaching the restrictions. Partners of pregnant women were forced to wait in hospital car parks while women were giving birth.
"A priest in County Cavan was fined for saying mass. A Protestant pastor in Dublin was arrested. Children were gathering in Galway and a Fianna Fáil Senator said the Army should be brought out to tackle them. Some protests were banned while others were allowed to go ahead. That is an extremely strange situation in a democracy. All protests should have been allowed to proceed peacefully and safely," he said.
Deputy Tóibín said he was at a loss as to why indoor dining in hotels will be permitted to begin on June 2 but there is yet no date with regard to indoor dining in pubs and restaurants.
"There is no scientific logic to this. Is a hotel pint a kind, unassuming drink and a pint in a pub homicidal? Are chicken goujons in a hotel peaceful but chicken goujons in a pub malevolent? It is absolutely ludicrous. Open up all parts of the hospitality sector under the same regulations and use a bit of cop-on instead," he said.