Bandon gran told to stay out of shops and shopping centre

June 25th, 2021 9:10 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Margaret Buttimer at a recent court sitting. (Photo: Denis Boyle)

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A BANDON grandmother is not to enter any shop or retail unit and to stay out of the Riverview Shopping Centre and South Main Street in Bandon while she is out on bail.

Margaret Buttimer (66) of the Cottage, St Fintan’s Road, Bandon appeared  at a special sitting of Bandon District  Court this evening. The court heard that  she was arrested this morning at 10.42am  by gardaí for allegedly  refusing to wear a mask at SuperValu in the Riverview Shopping Centre. The court heard that after caution and arrest she made no reply.

Gardaí had objected to bail because she allegedly re-offended while on bail awaiting penalty for a similar charge, while also having a suspended sentence for a similar charge.

Solicitor Plunkett Taaffe indicated that a medical report which he has sought for his client will not be ready until July 12th and asked Judge James McNulty not to remand her in custody. Mr Taaffe added that he finds it difficult to get any reasoning from her about her continuing defiance in not wearing a face mask in public places and he hopes the medical report will shed some light on her behaviour.

Insp Dave Callaghan said they were continuing to object to bail unless the accused could give a commitment that she would refrain from entering shops if she continues to refuse to wear a face mask.

Both the accused's son and partner appeared in court  and said he would ensure she would not go out to public places, while Judge McNulty suggested to her that she should stay at home for a couple of weeks.

Judge McNulty released the accused on bail into the care and control of her family. As well as the usual conditions of bail, Judge McNulty added two special conditions, namely that she will not enter any shop or retail outlet or any kind of place where members of the public visit and this included post offices and libraries. He also specifically directs her to stay out of Riverview Shopping Centre and South Main Street and adjacent areas.

Ms Buttimer was released on bail in her own bond of €100 with no cash required to appear at Bandon District Court on July 5th to indicate a plea or fix a date for hearing.

Margaret Buttimer has already received a three-week suspended sentence and a fine of €350 on another public health charge after refusing to wear a mask at Dunnes Stores in Clonakilty in February. At the time Ms Buttimer told Judge Colm Roberts that she ‘was only answerable to God.’  She also recently pleaded guilty to the charge of refusing to wear a mask, as required by public health regulations, at Boots Pharmacy in Bandon on May 12th and another charge of refusing to wear a mask at Aldi in Bandon on May 14th.

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