Several people were asked to leave a funeral in Donegal for refusing to adhere to health regulations.
The funeral was for 67-year-old Joe McCarron who died from Covid-19 on Friday.
McCarron was featured in a viral video on social media where he leaves Letterkenny University Hospital against the advice of medical staff while being encouraged by anti-vaccination campaigners.
He was returned to the hospital two days later after experiencing breathing difficulties but was later pronounced dead.
At least five people who were attending the funeral were asked to leave for not wearing face masks and sitting together in a row on the same seat despite signs asking to maintain social distancing.
Two of the five individuals were members of the so-called Common Law Movement and were asked to leave by a parish assistant.
They were initially approached by a woman with a box of face masks but declined to take one.
One eyewitness stated, “I knew two of them to see because of recent media coverage and from social media. They were definitely members of that anti-vaccine protest group.”
It’s understood that the group left the funeral without incident after declining to wear a mask.
The eyewitness added, “They were not outside the church when the funeral was over and I certainly didn’t see them at the graveside when Joe was buried.”
Gardaí confirmed that they attended the mass after a report was made of individuals not wearing masks.
A Garda spokesperson stated that they provided advice to those present and that no offences were disclosed.
They added that an investigation remains underway.
It emerged yesterday that gardaí are investigating the circumstances around McCarron leaving the hospital.
It’s understood that a senior investigating officer will be overseeing the investigation to establish whether a criminal offence was committed by those involved.
IMAGE – Pixabay/Joe McCarron (Twitter)