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Unmasked and unvaccinated gran sent to Limerick Prison

July 11th, 2021 8:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

Margaret Buttimer has not applied for a vaccine. (Photo: Denis Boyle)

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A BANDON grandmother, who hasn’t been vaccinated, has been remanded to Limerick Prison for a week after she allegedly breached conditions of her bail  that she was not to enter any retail units in the town.

On Monday, Margaret Buttimer (66) of the Cottage, St Fintan’s Road, Bandon appeared at Bandon District Court, having spent last weekend in Limerick Prison, following her appearance at the same court last week following an alleged breach of bail.

At last Friday’s court sitting in Bandon, gardaí claim that the accused entered SuperValu in the Riverview Shopping Centre the previous day. Having being offered a mask by staff there, she refused to wear it and was then arrested and brought to court that morning.

Ms Buttimer was on bail at the time in relation to a similar incident from June 26th and Judge James McNulty said at the time that conditions of her release on bail were that she was not to enter any shop or retail unit and to stay out of the Riverview Shopping Centre and South Main Street in Bandon.

Insp Emmet Daly told Judge McNulty that there isn’t a desire to remand the accused in custody but that her re-offending has to stop. He said that if the court could get undertakings from family members that she wouldn’t enter retail shops, then gardaí might consent to bail.

However, Judge McNulty said that the court has had those assurances from her family before and it wasn’t satisfactory.

Judge McNulty was told that the accused has not received a Covid-19 vaccination and hasn’t applied to receive one, either.

‘In the meantime she’s an unvaccinated person who has the inclination to shop without a facemask and she seems to show no intent of stopping,’ said Judge McNulty, who noted she has been treated kindly and fairly by the court, but seems to persist in offending and putting the health of others at risk.

‘In the absence of evidence the court cannot indulge in sympathetic speculation that there may be a medical cause to her offending. There is no medical evidence to excuse her previous offending or the new alleged offences.’

Mr Taaffe said his client would be contesting the two most recent charges from July 1st and June 25th, while she has already entered a plea of guilty to  similar previous charges  that are scheduled to be heard on July 12th.

Ms Buttimer has already been convicted for similar offences arising out of an incident at Dunnes Stores on February 12th, where she received a three months’ prison sentence, suspended for two years, and she was also fined €350.

Judge McNulty said the primary concern was the ‘health of others’, refused bail and remanded her in custody to appear for trial at Bandon District Court on Monday July 12th.

He told Mr Taaffe that when he receives the medical reports on his client he can renew the bail application but added that the court would require a cash surety to guarantee her release on bail should that occur.

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