A judge has told a 48-year-old man ‘stop your nonsense’ after he refused to wear a mask in court after commenting “these things are poisonous”.
After a Garda at Ennis District Court handed a disposable mask to Jonathan O’Gorman following a request to do so by Judge Mary Larkin, Mr O’Gorman instead covered part of his face with a red hoodie he was wearing.
He commented “these things are poisonous,” and declined the offer of the mask.
Mr O’Gorman was in court contesting a charge over the non-wearing of a mask at a Centra outlet in Corofin, Co Clare on February 17th this year in contravention of the Covid-19 health regulations.
Judge Larkin convicted Mr O’Gorman of the offence and fined him €300.
Fine and conviction
After hearing prosecution and defence evidence in the case, Judge Larkin stated: “I am satisfied that you have broken the law. It is as simple as that.”
After Judge Larkin imposed the fine and conviction, Mr O’Gorman commented: “I am not paying a fine for this - I haven’t broken the law.”
In evidence, Garda Andrew Monaghan told the court he received a complaint concerning Mr O’Gorman of New Street, Ennistymon refusing to wear a mask at the Centra in Corofin on February 17th.
Garda Monaghan stated that Mr O’Gorman told him that he didn’t believe in mask wearing as Covid-19 was a lie and that he wouldn’t be wearing a mask.
However, Mr O’Gorman disputed that he said this in court and said that what he did say to Garda Monaghan over not wearing a mask is that “the mask gives you Covid-19”.
Mr O’Gorman contested the charge and told Judge Larkin “I have a lot to say in my defence. Absolutely. 100 per cent.”
Private health matters
In the witness box and supported by documentation he brought to court, Mr O’Gorman told Judge Larkin that having to wear "a face mask violates personal rights of a citizen to breathe fresh air, to shop, to travel to and from the State and not be questioned regarding private health matters”.
Mr O’Gorman stated that the face mask law provides a platform for an unjustified attack on those who will not wear a face mask.
He said: “I have had personal experience of being assaulted many times, chased around a shop, screamed at and shouted at.”
Mr O’Gorman stated that he has an exemption for not wearing a mask that he wrote himself.
Mr O’Gorman stated that the wearing of masks creates the conditions for onset of respiratory issues most notably runny nose, stuffy headache, shortness of breath, inability to exhale toxic gases and inability inhale oxygen.
He said: “Such symptoms are recognised symptoms of Covid-19 and I declare that the wearing of a facemask in any setting gives me Covid-19.”
Mr O’Gorman stated that he was unable to get a mask exemption from his GP who refused to provide him with an exemption as he was a fit and healthy young man.