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