Bandon grandmother jailed for refusing to wear face mask in supermarket

December 10th, 2021 9:29 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

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

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A BANDON grandmother, who told a District Court judge that she didn’t think Covid exists and that face masks don’t work for the virus, has been sentenced to 30 days in prison for refusing to wear a mask at a Clonakilty supermarket earlier this week.
Margaret Buttimer (66) of St Fintan’s Rd, Bandon contested the charge at Bandon District Court earlier today, having being held in custody since the incident at  Dunnes Stores on Monday morning.
Gda Trish Grimes of Clonakilty Garda Station gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution and told Judge Colm Roberts that Ms Buttimer refused to wear a mask when shopping at the store on Monday and also refused the offer of one from one of the security staff. Ms Buttimer told Gda Grimes that she ‘has a choice and chose not to wear a face mask.’
In court today, Ms Buttimer told Judge Colm Roberts that she wasn't sure if Covid-19 exists and didn’t think face masks were effective. She said  that she had to do some Christmas shopping for her grandchildren as she doesn’t shop online or own a credit card.
Insp Ian O’Callaghan said Ms Buttimer has six previous convictions including five for similar offences and had no convictions prior to the pandemic.
In convicting her, Judge Roberts said there is no excuse for her behaviour or credible explanation and no reassurance that it won’t happen again.
‘You can have your beliefs but not to the detriment of public health,’ said Judge Roberts
He sentenced her to 30 days in prison, but suspended 20 days of that for a period of two years and backdated the remaining sentence to last Monday when she was first held in custody, meaning she will now serve six days in prison.
See more in next week’s edition of The Southern Star

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