A Mallow woman who refused to wear a mask in a shopping centre last Friday afternoon shouted, “Covid is not real. I hope the whole country gets it. F*** Covid.”
38-year-old Brona Cahill of Tirnova, Ballyellis, Mallow, County Cork, pleaded guilty to being drunk and a danger and engaging in threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour on March 5 at North Main Street shopping centre.
Sergeant Gearóid Davis said gardaí were alerted to the incident after 6 p.m. on Friday because the woman was refusing to leave the centre. She had been asked to leave because of her refusal to wear a mask.
Cahill refused to wear a mask at Cork District Court today for her case. She told Judge Olann Kelleher she wanted to go into a psychiatric hospital but they would not take her.
Judge Kelleher said he would adjourn sentencing so that the probation service could report on her and advise her on the most suitable treatment for her.
But Brona Cahill said, “I am sick of going through probation. They won’t help me. I don’t want to go to probation. I don’t care anymore. Send me to prison.”
Judge Kelleher encouraged her to go through the probation service in her own interests.
“Will you give it a chance?” he asked. The defendant replied, “No. I’ve f***ing had it. I can’t get the help I need.”
Judge Kelleher said, “I am getting you help but you don’t want to take it.”
Then Ms Cahill said, “I want it sorted today. I am not coming back here again.”
Defence solicitor, Diane Hallahan, said that in fairness to the defendant she had not been in any trouble for several years and now she was simply looking for help and felt very let down by the system.
Brona Cahill then said to the judge, “It is the HSE who should be standing here – not me.”
The judge said he had great sympathy for her. The defendant walked out of the courtroom before the case was finalised. Judge Kelleher said he would adjourn the case until March 16 and would not issue a warrant for her arrest in the circumstances.
Ms Hallahan said of the defendant, “It is total depression.” Judge Kelleher said, “It is more than depression.” Ms Hallahan accepted that this was so.
Free legal aid was extended to pay for the preparation of a probation report on the accused.