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26 May 2022

Dundalk man convicted of breaching Covid regulations at St Brigid's Shrine

Dundalk man convicted of breaching Covid regulations at St Brigid's Shrine

Dundalk courthouse

A local man accused of breaching Covid public health regulations in north Louth during lockdown, was convicted in his absence at Dundalk District Court last week.

However, his 65 year old co-accused with an address in Dublin, had his case struck out after the court was told the investigating garda in that case was on sick-leave.

Fergal Sheehy (42) with an address at Aisling Park, Cox's Demesne, Dundalk and Patrick Brocklebank of Rose Park, Kill Avenue, Dun Laoghaire were both charged with failing to state their name and address, at Upper Faughart on January 31st last, after a requirement was made by a member of An Garda Siochana under the Health Act 1947 as amended.

They were also charged with contravening a penal provision of a regulation made under the Health Act, to prevent, minimise or slow the spread of Covid-19.

Although Mr. Brocklebank’s case was struck out as the investigating garda was not in court to give evidence, Mr. Sheehy’s case did proceed as the guard who arrested him was present.

The garda gave evidence that a large group had assembled at St. Brigid’s Shrine, Upper Faughart.

He said social distancing guidelines were not being observed and masks were not being worn.

The garda alleged Mr. Sheehy pushed past him and started shouting after he attempted to get his details.

The officer said he tried to arrest the defendant but said he went to walk away and as he went to restrain him by his arms, the accused broke his grip.

He refused to allow handcuffs to be placed on him and lay on his hands while resisting arrest.

He later provided his name and date of birth and when charged he responded “No reply. That’s a joke. It’s an illegitimate charge”.

Judge Eirinn McKiernan convicted Mr. Sheehy of breaching the penal provision and fined him €200.

The other charge was marked "taken into consideration".

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