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Pensioner who cut down Covid awareness posters outside his 5km travel zone is fined

Seamus Murphy had found the past two years "personally very difficult", court hears

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Eimear Cotter

A PENSIONER stopped by gardaí pulling down Covid posters was outside his 5km travel zone at the time, a court heard.

Seamus Murphy (66) had struggled to cope and had found the past two years "personally very difficult", his solicitor said.

Judge David McHugh convicted and fined Murphy €80.

The judge said he would usually apply the Probation Act, but the defendant's behaviour had to be recognised by a conviction, given the impact that Covid-19 had on public health and the number of people who had lost their lives.

The defendant, with an address in Finglas, admitted breaching Covid regulations at Herbert Park, Dublin 4, on January 25 last year.

Garda Jenny O'Brien told Blanchardstown District Court that Murphy was found by gardaí in Herbert Park pulling down Covid awareness posters with a box-cutter knife.

Gda O'Brien said Murphy lived in Finglas, and was outside his 5km travel zone.

At the time, Covid regulations directed that people should not travel more than 5km from their home.

The court heard Murphy had never been in trouble before.

Defence solicitor Simon Fleming said Murphy had found Covid restrictions to be personally very difficult.

Mr Fleming said Murphy's family, including his sister who was a nurse, had been very concerned about him, and he had struggled to cope because he could not do what he had been able to do all his life.

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