Former journalist Gemma O’Doherty has been convicted and fined For breaching Covid 19 regulations
Former journalist Gemma O’Doherty has been convicted and fined in her absence for breaching Covid 19 regulations by leaving her home in Dublin and travelling to Cork in December 2020
for an anti-lockdown protest.
Cork District Court Judge Marian O’Leary heard that the 54-year-old was among a group of people at anti-restrictions protest in the Grand Parade, in the city, on the afternoon of the 12th of December, 2020.
The court heard that the group were holding placards about the Covid lockdown in which they were encouraging the public not to wear masks.
54 year old Gemma O’Doherty of Shankill in Dublin addressed the crowd on the lockdown and insisted that the virus was a “hoax” and that “RTE was spreading lies on behalf of the Government” about Covid.
He said that the group then went outside the studios of RTE Cork before heading to the office of then Tanaiste Micheal Martin on Evergreen Road in the city before gathering again on the Grand Parade
At that point Sgt Tim McAuliffe engaged with Gemma Doherty and asked her if she had a reasonable excuse to leave her county. The court heard that O’Doherty began recording him telling him that he didn’t know the constitution or his oath and that she was on “essential duties.” He stated that from what he observed she wasn’t carrying out any journalistic duties and was instead actively engaging in protest at the restrictions in place in the country.
Gemma O’Doherty did not have legal representation in court and wasn’t in attendance in the body of the courthouse.
Judge O’Leary convicted and fined O’Doherty €750 giving her five months to pay the amount. She was convicted of breaching a provision of the Health Act to prevent, limit, minimise or slow the spread of Covid 19.