An Irish man has been sentenced to two months in prison for failing to wear a face mask on a bus, despite claiming that he was medically exempt.
Andrew Heasman was travelling from Dublin to Knock to attend his uncle’s funeral on July 14 when he was ordered by the driver to put his mask on properly.
Garda police officer Thomas Bowens told Castlebar District Court that Heasman was wearing his mask “like a hat” and refused to obey orders commanding him to fully cover his mouth and nose.
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Mr Heasman informed authorities he was medically exempt and that under data protection laws, he was not legally required to provide evidence.
Summit.news reports: Despite protesting that the charges were “trumped up,” Heasman was convicted under the Health Act 1947 and now faces two years in jail.
According to Judge Fiona Lydon, Heasman’s behavior had been “totally inappropriate,” with the judge asserting, “she was satisfied that all of the ingredients required to secure a conviction had been satisfied by the State.”
Respondents to the story expressed a mixture of opinions, with some proclaiming their satisfaction at the man being sent to prison and others decrying the draconian response.
“Ireland is quickly becoming a communist country. Horrible treatment of our people,” said one.
“Good, I hope it makes other anti maskers sit up and take notice,” remarked another.