Cabinet decides making large parties criminal offences would be too ‘extreme’ a measure

Irish Times

The Cabinet has stopped short of making it a criminal offence to hold a party of more than six people amid concerns that such a move would be too “extreme”.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly brought a memo to Cabinet on Friday which said that under new proposals, organising or attending a gathering in a private home of more than six people would be a crime.

However, Ministers decided to instead underpin the current guidance – which limits indoor numbers to six – with new regulations that holding a gathering of more than six will be a civil offence. Such offences usually carry a penalty of a fine.

There was no clarity on Friday night as to how it would be determined there were more than six people at a gathering.

Speaking after the meeting, Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said the Cabinet felt a “penal provision” could be viewed as extreme.

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Irish Times