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The judge said that Margaret Buttimer ‘has disregarded the rights to health and safety of those who work in frontline retail’. A 66-year-old grandmother has been jailed for 90 days by a judge who said she had shown scant regard for the safety of others when refusing to wear a face mask in shops.
Margaret Buttimer, of St Fintan’s Road, Bandon, Co Cork, appeared at Bandon District Court charged with twice not wearing masks at SuperValu, Riverview Shopping Centre, in Bandon on June 25th and July 1st.
She was charged with contravening section 31A (1) of the Public Health Act 1947 as amended by 2020 legislation to prevent, limit, minimise or slow Covid-19’s spread by refusing to wear a mask in the shop.
Buttimer, who did not wear a mask in court, said she remembered being in SuperValu on both occasions, but had no recollection of pleading guilty last month to two charges in Bandon in May.
Following conviction, Judge James McNulty delayed sentencing for more than an hour to read a medical report from Dr Eleanor Mullen who specialises in the psychiatry of old age and a second report from a psychologist.
‘Margaret Buttimer is entitled not to wear a mask at home or outdoors, but like every other citizen she is required by law to wear a mask when she enters a shop or other public indoor space,’ he said.
She had been given a suspended sentence and a fine for a similar offence in Dunnes Stores, Clonakilty, on February 12th but her repeat offending meant that she disqualified herself from the chance of doing community service.
He sentenced her to 30 days’ imprisonment for the first breach in SuperValu Bandon on June 25th, and 60 days consecutive for the second breach on July 1st which happened when she was on bail for earlier offences in May. She will not appeal the sentence, her solicitor Plunkett Taaffe said. Source
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