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Beauty spots deserted as Dubs settle in to lockdown

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Glendalough car park was very different to last weekend

Glendalough car park was very different to last weekend

Glendalough car park was very different to last weekend

Scenic spots and popular walking trails which had been crowded in recent weeks are now deserted as gardai enforce the latest Covid-19 lockdown introduced by Government at midnight last Friday.

After massive crowds at Glendalough and Howth were widely criticised in previous weeks, there was a stark difference yesterday.

In the Dublin and Wicklow mountains, areas like the Hellfire Club, Killakee car park and Sally Gap, gardai were patrolling the roads.

They said they had only encountered a few people and had asked them to move on and return home.

There was barely a car on the road crossing from Killakee to Glendalough, and areas including the popular and scenic Glenmacnass Waterfall were totally devoid of people.

Distancing

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A deserted O’Connell Street yesterday

A deserted O’Connell Street yesterday

A deserted O’Connell Street yesterday

On the mountain slopes the deforestation in remote areas gave the landscape an almost post-apocalyptic feel.

In Laragh, a garda from Rathdrum Garda Station said he had stopped some motorcyclists, but otherwise he was only encountering a few local walkers out for exercise who were obeying the physical distancing rules.

Access to the Powerscourt Waterfall was closed, and in sleepy Enniskerry the popular Poppies cafe was only doing a takeaway service.

A garda car patrolled the village frequently.

Dun Laoghaire pier had a large sign on it reminding walkers of the two-metre distancing rule, but there were very few walkers out, just small family groups or people on their own, exercising or walking the dog.

The car parks at Sandymount were still open, and there were a number of cars in them, but there was plenty of space on the beach and walkers in ones and twos moved briskly as the gusty cold sea wind blew waves on to the beach.

The car park at St Anne's Park on the northside was also open, but the road to Bull Island was closed.

Two gardai were stopping the traffic between both.

"Most people are good but some haven't got the message," said one garda.

"They want to drive to somewhere and then go for a walk, but the new rules ask people to exercise within 2km of home."

Along the seafront all the way out to Sutton there were a small number of family groups or lone walkers, all keeping a good distance from each other, and in Howth there was hardly anybody out.

There was a lot of criticism last weekend when photographs were published of long queues of people formed outside Beshoff Bros fish and chip shop in the town.

There was hardly any social distancing between them and people were angry that those queueing did not seem to be heeding any of the recommendations designed to curb the spread of Covid-19.

However, there was no one outside it yesterday, and it was only open for online collections.

On the pier Assistant Garda Commissioner Pat Leahy and Chief Superintendent Mark Curran were on patrol.

"We're here to make sure that the policing measures to implement the current restrictions on people's movements are working, and we're very pleased that they are," said Mr Leahy.


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