Andrew Heasman, middle wearing suit and in between John Waters and Gemma O'Doherty outside Castlebar District Court via The Western People

Rebel Without a Cause Gets Two Months for Refusing to Wear Mask on Bus

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An anti-masker who refused to wear a face covering on a Bus Éireann coach in July, has been sentenced to two months in prison.

Castlebar District Court heard Andrew Heasman, from Carrowmore, Knock in Co. Mayo had been asked by the bus driver to wear his mask properly, on the Dublin to Knock service on July 14th last.

Garda Thomas Bowens told the court that he had refused to do so and that several passengers had gotten off the bus as a result.

He said Mr Heasman was wearing the mask “like a hat” and refused to comply with a requirement that he cover his mouth and nose.

Mr. Heasman told the gardaí he was exempt from wearing a mask for health reasons. Upon being asked for medical evidence, he then replied that under data protection, he was not required to provide that information.

The defendant said his uncle was being laid to rest on the day and he was travelling from Dublin for the funeral. 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 behaviour had been ‘totally inappropriate“.

She said she was satisfied that all of the ingredients required to secure a conviction had been satisfied by the State.

The Judge sentenced Mr Heasman to the prison term for an offence of failing to wear a face mask on public transport at Main Street, Ballyhaunis on 14 July last.