A man from the Republic of Ireland, who refused to wear a face covering has been sentenced to two months in prison.
RTE reports that the Castlebar District Court heard that Andrew Heasman, from Carrowmore, Knock, Co Mayo (Republic of Ireland), had been asked by a bus driver to wear a mask properly, when travelling from Dublin to Knock, last July.
Passengers reportedly got off the bus when Garda Thomas Bowens refused to wear a mask.
Mr Heasman was reportedly wearing the mask “like a hat” and refused to comply with a requirement that he cover his mouth and nose.
How is Andy Heasman going to jail for not wearing a mask on public transport
But @alankellylabour is not?
Does the law only apply to the powerless? pic.twitter.com/VTz0Kywz8v
— Catholic Arena (@CatholicArena) December 17, 2020
The National Police (Garda) said that when he entered the bus, he outlined the legislation to the defendant, telling him he was committing an offence under the Health Act 1947.
Mr Heasman told the court that he was exempt from wearing a mask for health reasons and he had told the officer that at the time. The officer asked him for medical evidence but Heasman told the officer that he was not required to provide it due to the data protection on personal health and medical records.
He described the charges against him as “trumped up”.
Judge Fiona Lydon said that in the light of the public health emergency, Mr Heasman’s behavior had been ‘totally inappropriate”.
I'm in court this Thursday for not wearing a mask pls come and support us at Castlebar courts at 10am pls bring flags and banners. ???????????????????????????????? pic.twitter.com/zlYedtyKWA
— Andy Heasman (@AndyHeasman2) December 14, 2020
The Judge sentenced Mr Heasman to the prison term for an offence of failing to wear a face mask on public transport.