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Court Service data reveal more than 12,800 Covid law prosecutions were resolved by the courts as of April.

The Minister for Health’s emergency regulatory powers under amendments to the Health Act lapsed on March 31st, 2022, but summonses arising out of a range of alleged breaches of the legislation have continued to progress through the District Courts – Ellen O’Riordan

Judges have imposed fines totalling €776,000 for offences under emergency Covid-19 legislation, but the majority of cases have been dismissed or struck out.

The Courts Service data provided to The Irish Times show 12,800 Covid law prosecutions, largely arising from the non-payment of fixed-charge penalty notices, were resolved by the courts as of April. A spokesman cautioned the prosecution figures may not cover all Covid cases that have come before the courts as a result of the manner in which some are categorised.

The Minister for Health’s emergency regulatory powers under amendments to the Health Act lapsed on March 31st, 2022, but summonses arising out of a range of alleged breaches of the legislation have continued to progress through the District Courts.

Gardaí issued 22,000 fines, totalling more than €4.7 million, for breaches of Covid regulations up to August 2021. However, more than half of recipients refused to pay within the designated 28-day period. Gardaí warned in mid-2021 that everyone who refused to pay should expect a court summons where they could opt to dispute a penalty notice but could be subject to a larger fine with accompanying conviction and/or imprisonment.