Cork grandmother back before court for refusing to wear face covering in shop

Cork grandmother back before court for refusing to wear face covering in shop

Margaret Buttimer from The Cottage, St Fintan's Road, Bandon, Co Cork, pictured at Bandon District Court. Pic Cork Courts Limited

A 66 year old grandmother who has spent time in custody for her repeated refusal to wear masks in shops has appeared before court again after she allegedly failed to put on a face covering on a shopping trip to a Supervalu in West Cork.

Margaret Buttimer (66) of The Cottage, St Fintan's Road, Bandon, Co Cork has appeared before Bandon District Court following an alleged breach of the Covid regulations.

The court heard she failed to wear a mask in the local shopping centre in Bandon yesterday morning shortly after 11am. Gardaí had to be called by the shop staff.

Habitual offender

Sgt Paul Kelly said that Ms Buttimer was a "habitual offender" in relation to flouting the Covid restrictions.

At previous and similar cases the court heard that she told management at stores that she was only answerable to God.

Defence solicitor Plunkett Taaffe said Miss Buttimer’s family were concerned about her. They have been doing their best to monitor her behaviour her which he said was an "impossible burden."

"Significant effort has been made to prevent it (the offending). But it can't be done all the time."

Sgt Kelly said that from the time the defendant was released from prison having spent over a month there for breaching Covid regulations, she had not committed any offences until yesterday.

“So she spent a month in prison and has not reoffended since. This was just a bad lapse?" Judge McNulty said.

Mr Taaffe said that as his client is of the belief has not committed a crime, the plea would likely be ‘not guilty.’ 

Judge McNulty enquired if Ms Buttimer was vaccinated and was told she wasn't. He also asked if she was still visiting her elderly mother unvaccinated and unmasked and was informed that was the case.

Remanded on bail

Judge McNulty remanded Ms Buttimer on bail until her next court hearing on November 15th.

She was warned to keep the peace, be of good behaviour and commit no further offences.

“She shall not enter Riverview Shopping Centre or any retail premises in downtown Bandon,” Judge McNulty stressed.

“Likewise, she is not to enter any place where the public has access. That would include church, chapel, meeting house, post office or public offices.

“While released on bail gardaí are at liberty to reenter the matter if any breach of bail conditions occur," he said.

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