Gardaí receiving "conspiracy theory" calls to Covid breach hotline
Gardaí are reportedly receiving "crank" and "conspiracy theory" calls to their new Covid breach hotline.
The hotline, which has been set up in Donegal to allow people to report events breaching Covid guidelines, has apparently been inundated with calls, many of which will be difficult to police now that restrictions are lifting.
The Irish Times reports that calls to the confidential line were particularly high on Tuesday and slightly lower on Wednesday. Overall, the majority of the calls have been from people "genuinely concerned" about restriction breaches.
“We’ve had people from all counties calling to alert us to things, so it seems the message wasn’t clear enough that this was only for Donegal,” said a source.
Another source added that the line has also become “a beacon for lunatics and loonies” with a number of "conspiracy theory" related calls recorded.
The anonymous tip line was set up to give the public the opportunity to report non-Covid compliant events in Donegal, such as house parties, wakes, and other gatherings.
Donegal has since a sharp increase in Covid cases compared to the rest of the country, but the HSE has said the county will not remain in lockdown for longer than previously advised.
They also recently told of how several outbreaks stemmed from events such as funerals, an 18th birthday party, and other family gatherings.
Ireland is to begin easing its restrictions considerably next week as hairdressers and salons will reopen to their doors to the public for the first time since December. Shopping by appointment and click and collect services will also resume on May 10, with all non-essential retail reopening on May 17.
Hotels and B&Bs will reopen on June 2 and outdoor dining in restaurants and pubs will resume on June 10. It is expected that indoor dining will recommence in July.