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mask-er raid Anti-vaxxer who protested outside Leo Varadkar's home is put in prison isolation unit

Varadkar home protester had refused to wear a mask after his arrest

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Andy Heasman is in Castlerea Prison

Andy Heasman is in Castlerea Prison

Andy Heasman is in Castlerea Prison

AN anti-vaxxer who took part in the infamous protest at Leo Varadkar's home ended up in an isolation unit in prison this week while refusing to wear a mask.

Dublin man Andy Heasman was arrested on Wednesday despite his efforts to dodge a two-month sentence imposed for not wearing a mask on a bus.

It prompted a group of supporters to stage a protest that night outside Castlerea Prison, where he is being held.

Half a dozen people unfurled protest banners, waved flags and chanted "Free Andy" outside the walls of the Co. Roscommon lock-up.

Earlier, a video appeared online of Heasman inside a house as a number of gardaí called to arrest him after he didn't turn up for an appeal hearing against the two-month sentence imposed last December.

Sources said Heasman told prison staff he was a 'sovereign citizen' and refused to comply with Covid regulations to wear a mask.

He is being detained in an isolation unit, which is currently standard practice for new inmates, and later complied with orders to wear a mask, sources added.

Heasman was part of group which targeted the Tánaiste's home in September in a widely condemned anti-vaccination protest.

A live-streamed video showed protesters shouting vile 'paedophile' slurs outside the house Mr Varadkar shares with his partner.

Heasman has appeared in a numerous online videos at anti-vaccine protests and taken part in anti-mask stunts at various locations.

In July last year he was on a bus in Ballyhaunis where he wore his mask like a hat and ignored requests to wear it properly.

The 41-year-old had pleaded not guilty to two charges under the Public Order Act on the same date when he refused to give his name and address to a garda.

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He represented himself in court, but was accompanied by a 'McKenzie friend', former newspaper columnist John Waters.

A garda gave evidence of being called to the scene where the Dublin to Knock bus was stopped and a number of passengers were standing outside.

It was heard Heasman was 'agitated' as he filmed the incident and accused the officer of harassing him.

When he eventually left the bus, the officer said Heasman had refused to give him his details and he was arrested.

Judge Fiona Lydon said gardaí were carrying out their duties during a very difficult time in the pandemic, and they had been obstructed by Heasman. She described Heasman's behaviour as 'totally inappropriate' on the day.

Judge Lydon sentenced him to two months in prison for failing to provide his name and address and took the other charge into consideration.

Heasman appealed the conviction but according to his posts on social media he didn't attend the appeal court hearing last month.

He posted a reply he sent to a court official in which he stated: "I wish to decline your invitation to take part in a fraudulent court hearing.."

It was added that the court has "no jurisdiction over man or woman".

Gardai confirmed to sundayworld.com this week that a man in his 40s was arrested on foot of a committal warrant in Co. Mayo on Wednesday and brought to Castlerea Prison.

"A committal warrant was issued arising from a sentencing at Castlebar Circuit Court on Thursday, October, 28 2021," Gardaí added.

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