Grandmother Who Violated Mask Mandate to Spend Christmas Behind Bars

Garda stand with batons drawn to keep counter-protestors from protestors staging a demonstration against the Irish government imposed restrictions put in place to help stem the rise in the number of novel coronavirus COVID-19 cases, outside Leinster House in Dublin on October 10, 2020. - Ireland on Tuesday ratcheted up …
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An Irish grandmother who violated the nation’s mask mandate is to spend Christmas behind bars after being sentenced to a year in prison.

Margaret Buttimer, a 66-year-old grandmother, will spend this Christmas behind bars after being sentenced to one year in prison for violating Ireland’s mask mandate, with six months of the sentence being suspended.

The grandmother was initially imprisoned last week after breaching her bail terms by going Christmas shopping, having been ordered to stay away from stores.

According to a report by the Irish Examiner, Buttimer was sentenced after being found guilty of not wearing a mask in a restaurant.

The judge presiding over the case made reference to what he called the grandmother’s “absurd selfishness” and “willful disregard of others”.

He also refused to hand down community service to the woman, claiming that it would be contradictory to do so as she was engaging in “persistent community disservice”.

The 66-year-old now has multiple convictions for breaching public health guidelines, having been jailed twice for her actions.

Buttimer had no previous convictions prior to the pandemic, according to the Irish Independent.

The wearing of face coverings in shops, restaurants, and public transport has been mandatory in Ireland since last year, with the country having yet to relax the measures since their initial implementation.

A Covid passport system — similar to the controversial 2G rule in Germany — has also been in place since last summer.

Under the regime, only those who are fully vaccinated against the Chinese coronavirus, or have recovered from the disease, are allowed access to indoor dining in bars and restaurants, as well as gym facilities.

The passes are also a legal requirement in order to visit nursing homes within the country.

Unlike many other European countries, the requirement to show proof of vaccination cannot be bypassed using proof of a negative Covid test.

A number of Irish politicians have questioned why the practice of excluding unvaccinated individuals from a wide variety of services hasn’t been further expanded to the likes of supermarkets and public transport.

“If you want to participate in society, you need to be vaccinated,” said one ruling party politician, saying that those who wished to refuse the vaccine could just stay home.

“You’re putting the rest of us at risk, and you’re putting the economy at risk,” Senator Gerry Horkan alleged.

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