Masks Or Chokey


Shoppers who refuse to wear face coverings from today will face fines of up to €2,500 and a prison stint under new coronavirus rules.

Retailers are to encourage the use of masks while shopping in the first instance, but gardaí can be called as a last resort.

The mandatory wearing of masks in shopping centres and other places, such as libraries and bingo halls, comes as counties Kildare, Offaly and Laois remain under strict coronavirus restrictions.

The department confirmed the penalty for not wearing a face covering is €2,500 and/or six months in prison

€2,500 fine or six months in jail for not wearing a mask in shops (

Sense Check writes:

This does not really follow the Gardai‘s tradition of policing by consent. In fact, the tone here is getting quite draconian and authoritarian. Masks wont stamp out this disease anyway, they only *might* delay spread. We have enough hospital capacity.

So what’s the point of this?



60 thoughts on “Masks Or Chokey

    1. Conor

      I can’t fathom why it’s so difficult for these idiots to simply put on a mask, and what a maddening statement to make about hospital capacity.

      1. Boj

        A lot of people don’t like to be controlled, saying that, a lot of other people DO like to be controlled, and there lies the divide. Calling one side ‘idiots’ benefits no one, except your ego maybe?

        1. Sam

          To suggest that it’s okay for me to risk you health, because there will be an actual bed for you to lie on while someone inserts a tube down youe throat to help you breathe… that’s a wee bit idiotic, don’t you think?

          1. Boj

            Well hang on now….the hospital capacity is there, and the money men want the economy pumping again. I’d be willing to bet my left lung that they have worked hospital capacity into their predictions an thed lifting of restrictions. It would be idiotic NOT TO! I’m not saying dont wear a mask btw. Just no need to get all high and mighty about it calling others idiots! What is idiotic was the fact the Airports never closed, with off licenses and the chemists ordered to stay open….all those anti-depressants prescriptions needed filling with some Prosecco on the side. Way more questions than answers in this whole thing and unfortunately I find it very difficult to trust anything our or any other government says these days.

    2. SOQ

      So ‘flatten the curve’ was dumass too?

      The whole point of the lock down was to not overwhelm the hospitals surely?

  1. Formerly known as

    Were there anti-maskers in 1918-1919? No, because there was no Facebook and no Russian bots trying to disrupt Putin’s enemies.

  2. Formerly known as

    The fine is only $200 Aussie dollars in Melbourne. Everyone has to wear them while they are outside their home. Things were getting out of control, so we have that and a lockdown that is like Ireland’s was at its nadir.

      1. Formerly known as

        Hi SOQ, yes. You can be on your own, in a public park, with nobody for 500 metres and you have to have it on. There is an exemption for people performing strenuous exercise but they have to carry a mask for when they stop. You are allowed one hour of exercise outside your property, per day. A household has one shopping trip, per day, one person only. We are allowed up to 5kms from home. Only essential staff can go to work. We are in Melbourne. Most state borders have been closed. 6 of the 8 states/territories are virus-free. People have more freedom in other places. We have begun to turn the curve down. 400 cases in Victoria, today. We have had 19 deaths – our worst day – and 300 deaths overall. By European/US standards, we are doing well. Unfortunately, the virus is in Aged Care homes. We have at least another month of this stage 4 lockdown. I was hoping we could become another New Zealand, I am not sure we can do it, now. I do think it is the best option. NZ is doing a lot better than Sweden. Australia has a big domestic economy. If we get rid of the virus, we can save more lives and start building again. I can see that is harder to do in Ireland/Europe.

        1. SOQ

          Thanks Formerly – I really have to wonder about the care homes thing- not just there but here too. They had plenty of warning and still it caused havoc. I mean is it really that difficult to keep it out?

          Do you know what the general Corona Virus season is there? In the western hemisphere it is December to end of April which is probably the main reason why we are seeing such a decline in numbers with CoVid-19 here now.

  3. Joe Small

    Interesting to see BS quoting tweets from a nutjob that retweets Jim Corr and mocks Black Lives Matter.

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      Because that’s the type that are against masks. Rational, normal people are wearing masks and getting on with their day, the conspiraloons are having conniptions.

  4. frank

    A soundbite I heard over the weekend from Ronan Glynn was that ‘this is about personal responsibility’. He’s utterly wrong with that message. This is not about personal responsibility, what is being forced upon us is collective responsibility and that is insane.
    As much as I love you brothers and sisters your survival isn’t my responsibility. It’s yours.

    1. Janet, dreams of big guns

      Frank we have a responsabilité to the society we live in, it’s part of the pay off with living in said society,
      this argument doesn’t work,
      if you don’t want to wear a mask that’s a different argument but the one you are using is facetious

      1. frank

        For the 4 years I was in cancer treatment I didn’t ask or force the entire of society to shut down for me. to be collectively responsible for me. I washed my hands carefully. Brought hand sanitiser everywhere. Wore a mask when I needed to (my immune system was so compromised that any bacterial virus could have been fatal). Avoided crowded places, cinemas, shopping centres etc. I was scrupulously careful. I survived my treatment and would you believe I’ve survived Covid19. I had it around st. Patricks day.
        My wellbeing lay personally with me not you.

        1. Janet, dreams of big guns

          I’m sorry to hear you were such high risk and glad you are better, it’s the same reason my Dad hasn’t left his house since March,
          don’t you think it’s slightly different when you are high risk and normal not to rely on others ?

    2. Micko

      I agree with Frank.

      Not my responsibility to save other people.

      And, I’m sure like Frank we can look at the seatbelt issue and drink driving and make out own informed opinions. It’s apples and oranges you’re comparing. Totally different issues.

      Was in a friends house the weekend and his wife was going on about other people getting to close to her with their “dirty germs” and infecting her.

      The virus is the problem.

      Not other people, that seems to be the way we’re going. Seeing other humans as infectious and disgusting.

      It’s very sad.

      1. delacaravanio

        What about HIV/Aids? If you suspected you were infected would you get tested? Would you wear a condom to protect your partner if you didn’t know whether you were infected? Is a condom only to protect yourself?

        After all, the virus is the problem there, also. Not other people.

        1. Micko

          Well, one is a horrible disease that (until recently) was a death sentence. 100% guaranteed.

          The other one.. isn’t

          Again, apples and oranges

  5. SOQ

    One thing nobody has mentioned yet is who decides on a fine or jail and why.

    In the UK- civil rights lawyers were very quick to point out that nobody has the right to ask you what your reason for not wearing a mask is- all you have to say is you were ‘medically exempt’. It is the same in the US I believe.

    The wording here is ‘reasonable excuse’ so what happens if a shop worker demands more details? They cannot refuse service on the grounds of disability or even ask you about your disability so I am not sure where the fines and /or jail come into it.

    1. Pee Pee

      Why are you looking at it from that perspective? Do you not litter because you might be fined?

      1. SOQ

        Because some people will have reasonable grounds not to wear a mask- people with COPD and some asthmatics for example.

          1. SOQ

            Or I could just stick a spaghetti strainer on my head- for all the difference it will make.

            Even some of the manufacturers have a disclaimer on the side of the box that states that their masks will not prevent CoVid-19 infections- so where do you go from there?

          2. Junkface

            No mask manufacturer can guarantee 100% protection from airborne viruses, because it depends on who is wearing it, how careful are they being with it. FFP 2 or 3, or N95 masks is what medical staff wear, as it filters out the particles in the air. They are the safest mask to wear for someone with a breathing condition.

          3. Cian

            And condom manufacturers have similar disclaimer/warning (regarding pregnancy/STDs) on their packets. But that doesn’t mean the are useless..

          4. SOQ

            Condom manufactures state that their product may tear or break which is a malfunction- for want of a better word.

            Mask manufacturers are saying that even if used as intended with no malfunction- they do not protect against Covid-19.

          1. SOQ

            Why so nasty?

            We’re only having a craic- exchanging opinions- that is what the comments section is for.

        1. Daisy Chainsaw

          Asthmatics are wearing masks to protect themselves. It’s only self absorbed, self diagnosed with a makey uppy condition, whining sissies who aren’t wearing them.

          1. Daisy Chainsaw

            Are all your conspiraloon mates now self diagnosed asthmatics!

            Don’t forget to add a bit of a wheeze to the whining for authenticity.

    2. Cian

      @SOQ does that apply to other areas of law?
      If I were ‘medically exempt’ from, say, wearing a seatbelt could I just drive without one, and if I were stopped by the Gardaí I could just say “I’m medically exempt, but you aren’t allowed to ask for more details”.
      Or park in a disable space.
      I shout out rude words. I might have Tourette syndrome, but you can’t stop me or make me leave or even make me explain myself because I’m “medically exempt”

      1. SOQ

        I know that in UK and US shop staff are not allowed to challenge someone not wearing a mask. This is the reasons why shops like Sainsburys, Asda and Costa Coffee in England came out beforehand and said they would not be imposing the rule- they had no legal basis for doing so.

        Why would it be any different here?

        As for seat belts I assume the same rule would apply- its not something I have looked into to be honest. Disabled spaces are different- you must have a disabled badge on display.

        1. Cian

          “I know that in UK and US shop staff are not allowed to challenge someone not wearing a mask. ”
          Another of your “facts” that just aren’t true. If you mean that *some* shops are choosing not to challenge people not wearing masks (based on legal advice) – then say that.

          1. GiggidyGoo

            Or the management tell staff that they must not challenge? = Staff are not allowed challenge.
            Is there a law in force here that states that shop staff must challenge people not wearing masks.
            Where’s the data protection even – someone may have a valid medical reason not to wear a mask, and the detail of that medical reason is their own business, not some shop worker’s.

          2. SOQ

            What is the difference? It leaves them wide open to a legal challenge which is why shops in the UK do not ask.

            What some are doing is offering a free mask upon entrance which is a discrete way of checking but- demanding to know why someone refuses is illegal.

            Even the security staff on the Luas are under instruction not to ask.

    3. bisted

      …blasphemy Bodger…the spaghetti strainer is the sacred colender…the flying spaghetti monster(praise be his noodley apendages) is the only true god…

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