A BANDON grandmother is not to enter any shop or retail unit and 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 last Friday evening which heard that she was arrested that morning 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 was on bail at the time of the alleged offence, awaiting penalty for a similar charge, while also aleady 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 facemask 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 mask. Both the accused’s son and partner appeared in court.
Judge McNulty suggested to the accused that she should stay at home for a couple of weeks.
The judge released her 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 directed 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.