”It’s just not acceptable.”

Gardaí found 26 potential breaches of COVID-19 restrictions in pubs last weekend.

Almost 7 thousand checks were carried out in licensed premises and of those around 2,700 were open.

In some cases, gardaí found customers drinking alcohol but no evidence of food being consumed.

While in other cases, there were large groups at a table with little to no social distancing.

The penalty for breaching the rules is a maximum fine of 2,500 euro and or up to six months in prison.

Patricia Callan from Drinks Ireland said it’s disappointing after so much hard work was done to get pubs reopen.

”It’s just not acceptable and we’ve known this from the very start.

Everyone has worked really hard to put the measures in place to ensure it’s going to be a really safe experience, they’ve followed he HSE guidelines”.