in the clear | 

Leading anti-vaxxer will NOT face criminal charges over death of Donegal DJ Joe McCarron

Joe McCarron (67) left hospital in Donegal while gravely ill last year

Anti vaccination campaigner Antonio Mureddu

A videograb from a video of Joe McCarron in hospital

Ali Bracken

Anti-vaccine extremist Antonio Mureddu will not face criminal charges in connection with Covid patient Joe McCarron’s departure from hospital in Donegal while gravely ill last year.

The 67-year-old Covid-sceptic patient returned to Letterkenny University Hospital two days later, but subsequently died.

Gardaí confirmed a file has been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in relation to the Italian’s role in Mr McCarron’s departure from hospital, but the state prosecutor has now advised that no criminal charges be laid.

In a video that later went viral, Mr Mureddu (44) is seen encouraging Covid-sceptic Mr McCarron to leave hospital, despite a doctor saying he could die.

Among the issues examined was whether the patient was forced or coerced to leave hospital, and a criminal charge of endangerment, it is understood.

Charges of trespass and whether hospital staff were threatened were also considered.

Medical staff and Mr McCarron’s family members were interviewed.

A videograb from a video of Joe McCarron in hospital

Mr Mureddu was arrested on February 7 and questioned by gardaí in Donegal about the incident, ahead of the force completing and sending its file to the DPP.

In the video of the incident on September 14, 2021, Mr Mureddu can be heard telling Mr McCarron: “Put your trousers on, we are going now, you are safe, you follow me.”

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.”

Joe McCarron

“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.

“It is a very difficult disease that you have and I’m not lying to you, you could die. This will be your best chance in the hospital and getting the support we are giving to you.”

Mureddu then intervenes and accuses hospital staff of “lying” and says: “We go.”

The staff member then tells him: “Think about this. You are endangering his life.”

Two days later, Mr McCarron was readmitted to hospital. He was placed on a ventilator, but his condition deteriorated.

His family have criticised what happened and urged people to follow medical advice in relation to Covid-19.

An offence of endangerment states: “A person shall be guilty of an offence who intentionally or recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of death or serious harm to another.”

It carries a sentence of one to seven years in prison.

Mureddu appeared before Letterkenny District Court in late February on road traffic charges of having no insurance, using a fraudulent licence plate and failing to give information to gardaí at Meencarragh, Ballybofey, last October 23.

Judge Raymond Finnegan asked if he had a solicitor and he replied that he had no legal representative.

He told Judge Finnegan: “I don’t give jurisdiction to this court. I can represent myself.”

He then attempted to hand paperwork to Judge Finnegan, but the judge said he was not accepting it.

Mureddu, who did not wear a facemask at any stage of the hearing, claimed he had items stolen by gardaí at Letterkenny garda station.

Judge Finnegan again strongly recommended that he get legal representation.

Mureddu replied: “Absolutely not. I don’t give any consent. I am the king and you are the public servant.”

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