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18 May 2022

Naas District Court case not heard because defendant refused to wear face covering

Naas District Court case not heard because defendant refused to wear face covering

File pic: Naas courthouse

A man who was due to appear in Naas District Court on Thursday, November 18, was told that his case could not be heard because he refused to wear a face covering.

Kenneth Donnelly, with an address at Crosneen, Carlow, 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.

Solicitor Aisling Murphy said that while her client is medically exemp 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.”

He added: “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.”

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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