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25 Jan 2022

Unmasked shopper in Offaly told garda to 'f*** off'

Unmasked shopper in Offaly told garda to 'f*** off'

Unmasked shopper in Offaly told garda to 'f*** off'

A CUSTOMER at a shop in Offaly who was not wearing a mask told a garda sergeant and a staff member to “f... off”, Tullamore District Court heard.

On December 4 last year at Loughnane's Centra, Tullamore Road, Birr, Michael McInerney, 51, Dowras, Fivealley, Birr, was present without a face mask.

Sergeant James O'Sullivan told the court that Detective Sergeant Brian Jennings was on plain clothes patrol at the time and he called to the store where an attempt was being made to regulate customers who were not wearing face masks.

Judge Catherine Staines was told that one staff member asked two men to wait at the door because the shop was overcrowded and she also asked them to put masks on.

The older of the two men, the defendant Mr McInerney, told her to “f... off” and said he was not leaving.

Detective Sgt Jennings was also told to “f... off”, the court was told. The accused had one previous conviction for a public order offence.

Defending solicitor Donal Farrelly, who entered a guilty plea to a summons alleging a breach of the peace at the shop, said his client had been at a wedding the night before and was still under the influence of alcohol.

Mr Farrelly said Mr McInerney had lost a daughter tragically some years earlier and also suffered from diabetes and depression.

Mr McInerney, a father of seven who was wearing a face mask when he appeared before Judge Catherine Staines, could not read or write but got his daughter to type a letter of regret and apology to the sergeant and Mrs Loughnane.

Judge Catherine Staines indicated she would order the man to complete 80 hours of community service in lieu of three months in prison.

She adjourned finalisation of sentencing to February 2 next year for a community service report.

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