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not guilty plea Grandmother who has multiple convictions for failing to wear a mask in shops to remain in jail over Christmas

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Margaret Buttimer (66), of The Cottage, St Fintan's Road, Bandon, at Bandon District Court. Picture: Michael Mac Sweeney/Cork Courts

Margaret Buttimer (66), of The Cottage, St Fintan's Road, Bandon, at Bandon District Court. Picture: Michael Mac Sweeney/Cork Courts

Margaret Buttimer (66), of The Cottage, St Fintan's Road, Bandon, at Bandon District Court. Picture: Michael Mac Sweeney/Cork Courts

A 66-year-old grandmother who has multiple convictions for failing to wear a mask in shops during the pandemic is to remain in jail over Christmas.

Margaret Buttimer, of The Cottage, St Fintan’s Road, Bandon, Co Cork, received a six-month sentence for her offending from a judge who criticised her for her “wilful disregards for others”.

She appeared before Bandon District Court yesterday having entered a not guilty plea after she failed to put on a mask when she entered Jakes Restaurant in the town on the morning of November 17 last.

Judge James McNulty heard Ms Buttimer refused to leave the restaurant. A senior member of staff onsite had asked her to leave 15 times.

However, instead she stood waiting at the counter for gardaí to arrive. Gardaí and staff asked her to put on a mask or leave the premises. She declined to do both.

Judge McNulty has heard several of the cases against Ms Buttimer, who was without convictions until the pandemic hit and she refused to wear masks while out shopping.

Both he and his colleague Judge Colm Roberts have expressed their inability to understand the offending behaviour of Ms Buttimer, who has been described as an otherwise “pleasant” woman who had lived an “unblemished” life.

Ms Buttimer has previously told the court she is unsure of the efficacy of masks and uncertain if Covid exists.

She has been before the courts over eight times since last May. At one point she told a store manager that she was “only answerable to God”.


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