Fine for man who refused to leave Cork restaurant after being advised of Covid-19 restrictions

Fine for man who refused to leave Cork restaurant after being advised of Covid-19 restrictions

Sgt Lyons said staff explained to him that he was required to wear a mask and that patrons were only allowed on the premises wearing a facemask and for the purpose of collecting take-away food.

A 38-YEAR-old man sat at a table in a fast-food restaurant that was only open for takeaway service as part of Covid-19 restrictions and gardaí had to be called.

Sergeant Pat Lyons said the incident occurred at Supermac’s in Tivoli, Cork, on February 13.

Gary O’Brien was not wearing a mask and would not leave the premises when requested to do so by staff.

Sgt Lyons said the premises was open at the time, but was only providing a takeaway service in line with restrictions. The seating area had been sealed off from members of the public at the time. However, O’Brien made his way to a table, sat down and refused to leave.

Sgt Lyons said staff explained to him that he was required to wear a mask and that patrons were only allowed on the premises wearing a facemask and for the purpose of collecting take-away food.

“Gary O’Brien refused to leave the premises.

“He was intoxicated. He was arrested under the Public Order Act,” Sgt Lyons said.

O’Brien, with an address at Cork Simon Community, appeared at Cork District Court, where he pleaded guilty to the charge of being intoxicated to such an extent that he was a danger to himself or others.

O’Brien has 64 previous convictions.

Solicitor Eddie Burke said that the defendant was upset on the night because a relative had been admitted to hospital and he was not allowed to visit because of present restrictions.

The solicitor said the accused did charitable work with the homeless.

Judge Olann Kelleher fined the accused €250 on the charge.

The judge told the accused he was fortunate that he was only prosecuted on the charge of being intoxicated and a danger, which only carries a monetary fine.

He said that if the defendant had been charged with engaging in threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour — based on the facts that were outlined in relation to the incident in Supermac’s — he would not have been given a fine.

“You would be in jail for that kind of behaviour,” the judge said.

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