Anti-Mask granny jailed – for refusing to wear a mask in-store
A 66 year old grandmother was jailed for 90 days for refusing to wear a face mask instore. The judge said that Margaret Buttimer ‘has disregarded the rights to health and safety of those who work in front line retail’.
She refusedto wear a mask at SuperValu, Riverview Shopping Centre in Bandon, Co Cork, last month.
A Gardai inspector said the charges alleged the granny contravened a provision under section 31A (1) of the Public Health Act 1947 as amended by 2020 legislation to ‘prevent, limit, minimise or slow the spread of Covid-19’ by refusing to wear a mask in the shop on two different dates.
SuperValu manager Alan Owens said that Buttimer refused to wear a mask when asked to do so on each occasion and when offered a mask by staff while Garda Theresa Lyons and Garda Ellen Crowley also testified that she refused to wear a mask when asked to do so.
Buttimer, who also didn’t wear a mask in court, said she could remember being in SuperValu on both occasions but had no recollection of pleading guilty to two charges of breaching Covid-19 regulations at Boots Pharmacy in Bandon and Aldi in May.
Sentencing Buttimer, the judge said the case was about “rights and duties” and Buttimer had rights and entitlements, including a right to dissent, and a right to express her dissent, and she also has the right to protest – subject to public health guidelines.
More than half of all people issued with a fine for breaching Covid-19 regulations have refused to pay, according to gardaí.
Since the first Covid-19 laws were introduced last year, gardaí have issued more than 22,000 fixed-charge penalty notices for breaches such as failing to wear a face mask in designated premises.