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03 Dec 2021

Court case not heard because man refused to wear Covid covering

Defendant had an address on Laois Carlow border

Naas Court: Man gets two drink driving convictions in two days

Judge called a halt

A a judge refused to hear the case of a man with an an address on the Laois Carlow border because he refused to wear a face mask. 

Kenneth Donnelly, with an address at Crosneen, is accused of a public order offence near Athy railway station, alongside Bridget Scanlon, who has an address listed at 14 Dolmen Heights in Carlow, on June 2 of this year.

His solicitor, Aisling Murphy, told Naas District Court on Thursday, November 18,  that while her client is medically exempt from wearing a face mask, he was permitted to wear a face shield.

However, when the 52-year-old turned up to court, he was refused entry as he did not have a face shield on him.

She tried to convince Judge Desmond Zaidan to allow her client to be brought into court, but the judge replied: “I'm sorry, Ms Murphy: it ain't gonna happen.”

“I will not break the law just for him. People are still losing their lives due to Covid-19, and I will not put you, me, and everyone else in the court in danger just because of him,” he said.

Judge Zaidan further called the defendant's attitude “morally and legally wrong”.

Gardaí also told the judge that a number of people had become agitated outside the courthouse and had demanded to enter it, and garda officers were sent out to refuse them entry.

The judge agreed to continue bail for Mr Donnelly until his reappearance at Athy District Court on January 25 next year.

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