SEVEN men who had rented an Airbnb in Garrettstown and travelled there in two taxis from Cork city recently were ‘sent packing’ back to the city after gardaí detected them in breach of Covid regulations and all were fined.
Gardaí also met a man from North Kerry going to Union Hall who was issued with a fixed charge notice and his car was seized for having no insurance.
Cllr Kevin Murphy (FG) raised the Kinsale incident at this week’s online meeting of Cork County Joint Policing Committee (JPC).
Cllr Murphy, who commended the Kinsale gardaí for detecting the breach, said it was time for legislators to ‘get tough’ with Airbnb owners who are flouting the law in the middle of a pandemic and renting out their properties.
‘ We have got to take a serious look at legislation to tighten up this loophole in relation to Airbnb owners themselves who are renting out these properties during Level 5. It’s my firm belief that they should also be prosecuted,’ he added.
Cllr Murphy said that there are ‘heaps and heaps’ of Airbnbs operating in Kinsale and he said the majority of them obey the law, but others are ignoring it and these offences should be curtailed.
‘As well as Airbnb owners, we should also be looking at taxi drivers themselves, who are going beyond the 5km limits to transport people like those last weekend. They would want to have a good excuse for doing that.’
Chief Supt Con Cadogan of the Cork West Division said that they are following this up with taxi drivers and they are seeking advice from DPP on that aspect of it.
‘The seven individuals involved all got fixed charge notices and were sent packing out of Kinsale,’ said Chief Supt Cadogan.
Chief Supt Barry McPolin of the Cork city division noted that the majority of people are adhering to the restrictions and that it is very evident from the lack of traffic on the roads, but he highlighted other breaches of the law.
‘People need to realise that the regulations are there for a purpose and that’s to protect the health of the public.’