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Leading anti-vaxxer Antonio Mureddu convicted of driving offenses following bizarre court appearance

The 44-year-old was convicted after he drove more than 5km from his home during a time where temporary travel restrictions were in place

Antonio Mureddu is confronted by the Sunday World

Clodagh Meaney

A prominent anti-vaccination campaigner was fined €450 in court this week for breaching Covid-19 restrictions.

Antonio Mureddu (44) was convicted after he drove more than 5km from his home on April 10 2021 during a time where temporary travel restrictions were in place.

He was also fined for speeding on the same occasion.

The court heard that he had two previous convictions, including a speeding conviction from January 2019, where fined €500, and one from 2011 where was convicted of dangerous driving at Galway Circuit Court.

Mureddu is one of Ireland's most prominent anti-vax and anti-lockdown campaigners .

According to recent reports, gardai have recently recommended criminal charges be brought against Antonio Mureddu in connection with Covid patient Joe McCarron’s departure from a Donegal hospital while gravely ill.

A video of the incident surfaced online that showed Mureddu allegedly convincing the ill man to leave the hospital despite medics telling the man he could die.

“Put your trousers on, we are going now, you are safe, you follow me," he told McCarron.

A staff member tells the patient he has the right to decide what he wants to do but adds: “You are barely able to breathe there now. We want you to stay and help you.”

“No Joe, they’re going to f***ing kill you Joe,” Mr Mureddu says before telling the staff member: “Because you are killing people.”

The medic then tells Mr McCarron: “I’m very worried about you and I want you to stay. I think he is saying something very dangerous. What he is saying is very wrong and very dangerous, and I think he is endangering your life.”

Joe McCarron died two days later after being readmitted to hospital.

According to the Sunday Independent an investigation into the matter is “near completion” and gardaí in Donegal will send a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions, recommending Mr Mureddu be charged in connection with the incident, according to a senior security source.

Appearing at Galway District Court last week, the court heard that Mureddu was stopped by a garda who was conducting a speed check in Oranmore at 1.55pm on the day.

He was found to be travelling in excess of the speed limit, driving at 134km/h in a 100km/h zone.

Antonio Mureddu Gravegliu encourages sick patient to leave hospital.

When the gardai spoke to Murredu, he produced his driving licence, but when asked about his purpose for travel, he refused to cooperate.

According to the Connacht Tribune, Garda Garrett Cafferkey told the court: “He wouldn’t tell me. I told him I would issue a speeding ticket and he said he would accept the speeding ticket.

"I also told him a fixed charge penalty notice for breaching Covid regulations would be issued if he didn’t inform me of the reasons for his journey, to see if it was essential.”

“Mr Mureddu then said to me ‘I will bring you to the Supreme Court. It will cost you money and your job, I swear to you.’ He said he could go wherever be wanted.”

He issued two fixed charge penalties for the traffic violations, however neither were paid.

The Italian man sent “a purported contract” in red lettering and other documents to Garda Cafferkey and to the court.

The first document stated “Any man or woman acting as an agent for the Irish State who wishes to interfere with my God-given right to travel peacefully, he or she agrees to pay me €50,000.”

The next document contained the terms and conditions for entering the “purported contract”, followed by copies of an affidavit titled ’Living Testimony’ which included with a picture of Mureddu on it.

The correspondence also contained copies of the tickets issued by Garda Cafferkey.

Another document was sent, written in Mureddu’s native Italian, a language Garda Cafferkey said he didn’t understand. A further document outlined copyright laws.

Court’s jurisdiction

Meanwhile, Judge Brennan said that while the court received the same documents, they also received a notice challenging the court’s jurisdiction.

The accused told the court that he sent the same correspondence to the Supreme Court, the Garda Commissioner and to “all the authorities in the country”, so that “everyone would know” he was “acting in honour.”

“I am not committing any crime. I didn’t create any injury or any problems to anybody in my travelling,” he said.

When the judge asked if he was demanding compensation from the state, he said he would not be if the case against him was dropped.

He told the judge that he was Italian and was not “giving jurisdiction to anybody in the room” to judge him.

Judge Brennan acknowledged that while there was a constitutional right to liberty, the state was forced to deal with a difficult situation throughout the pandemic.

He told the accused that while he read all of his documents, he was satisfied “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the State proved their case, and was therefore convicting him of the traffic offenses.

He was fined €150 for his speeding offence, and €300 for breaching the temporary Covid regulations and given six months to pay both fines.

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