Athy train station.
Two people arrested at a County Kildare rail station had no face coverings, Naas District Court heard this afternoon.
They were detained by gardaí who received a complaint about them from an inspector as they travelled on a train between Carlow and Athy.
Kenneth Donnelly, 52, whose address was given as Crossneen, Carlow and Bridget Scanlon, 47, whose address was given as 14 Dolmen Heights, Carlow face allegations of facing to comply with the direction of a garda and failing to provide a name and address at the train station, Church Road, Athy. Neither wore a face covering in court.
The court was cleared for the hearing except for prosecuting gardaí, legal representatives and reporters and the courtroom was sanitised before the regular court sitting resumed.
Gda Dooley told of arresting Ms Scanlon shortly after 4.30pm on June 2.
The court heard that Ms Dooley refused to give her name and address at the station and she was identified from a PPS card found after she was searched.
In response to being charged it was claimed the defendant raised her middle finger.
The gardaí were contacted by the train inspector who alleged the woman was aggressive and abusive and refused to leave the train in an orderly manner and she was arrested under the Public Order Act.
Gda Dooley said it’s believed they were travelling to a demonstration in Dublin.
“They are travelling to demonstrations on the train and have caused difficulty,” said the garda.
The garda added there was consent to bail provided that she sign on at Carlow garda station twice weekly.
Gda Eamonn McGinley said he arrested Mr Donnelly, whose reply to being charged was “I’m innocent; I’m a victim of the State.” In court Mr Donnelly denied using the words “the State.”
Mr Donnelly also said that Ms Scanlon had been waiting for 13 and a half hours to see a doctor.
Asked about the link between the defendants Gda McGinley said they have a similar cause as regards the health regulations.
Barrister Aisling Murphy for Mr Donnelly said that he is a freelance journalist producing video and travels a lot for work.
Ms Murphy said he is exempt from wearing a mask and a medical report corroborating this was handed into court.
Mr Donnelly told the court that face shields are not mandatory.
He too was granted bail and is to sign on at the same garda station twice weekly.
Judge Desmond Zaidan adjourned the case to November 18.
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