Irish media deliberately peddle fake news in story of maskless man arrested on bus
DUBLIN, Ireland, December 18, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A man in Ireland has been sentenced to two months imprisonment under Public Order charges. His arrest, however, has been used by the media and law enforcement as a weapon in mask propaganda in which they have falsely attributed the arrest to the man not wearing a mask on a public bus.
Andy Heasman was arrested on July 14 on a Bus Eireann service from Dublin to Knock whilst he was traveling in order to attend his uncle’s funeral. He entered the bus wearing a mask on his head like a hat, since, only the day before, laws had come into effect mandating the wearing of masks on public transport.
However, Heasman suffers from asthma, and as such was medically exempt from the ruling. The provision is outlined in the official guidance from Transport for Ireland. He had a disability badge to demonstrate this, yet the bus driver took issue with Heasman for not covering his face with the mask.
As a result, the police or Gardai were summoned, entered the bus and told Heasman to wear a mask, which he recorded on his phone. They also demanded to know the disability exempting him from wearing a mask, despite Heasman showing his badge and informing them that under data protection laws, he was not required to give such information.
“The bus driver has a difficulty with you,” stated the police in reference to mandating a mask, “and it’s not for you, it’s for the safety of the other passengers.”
When Heasman questioned what danger he had placed his other passengers in, the police replied “You haven’t put any of them in danger.”
After some minutes, he left the bus in compliance with the police orders, but was then promptly arrested for not giving his name, which the police declared was “an offence against the public order act.”
Just yesterday, Heasman was convicted to two months in prison by Castlebar District Court, under an offense against the Public Order Act. His bail of €500 was promptly paid, and he walked out some hours later. Yet, the mainstream media and even the police presented the arrest as a response to his not wearing a mask. Before releasing him on bail, the police even told Heasman that he was there “for not wearing a mask.”
RTE reported the event by saying that Heasman had been sentenced “for an offence of failing to wear a face mask on public transport.” The Irish Times did likewise, titling their story: “Two months in jail for man wearing mask on head ‘like a hat’.”
A more truthful narrative
Investigate journalist Gemma O’Doherty, along with author and civil rights activist John Waters, assisted Heasman through his various court appearances, and Waters was with Heasman at his sentencing yesterday. The pair presented a very different set of events, to those which the media was reporting.
“This is being reported by fake news, in a manner which is completely untrue,” O’Doherty said. “Heasman was not sent to jail or given a custodial sentence for not wearing a mask. It was because he said, “I’m getting off the f***ing bus now.” This can in fact be heard in Heasman’s own video recording of the event.
“It was all done for the optics of the media,” she continued. “They needed to be able to put in their fake news ‘man jailed for failing to wear a mask’. These are the headlines.”
“Which is a lie,” Waters added. “Andy was not charged with any offenses relating to face masks. The incident that occurred, initiated with face masks, but the guards did not proffer any charge on that whatsoever.”
In fact, they noted that the police confirmed to Heasman “you have committed no crime.” Yet contrary to Heasman’s video evidence, the police “retroactively” suggested that “Andy had insulted everybody on the bus, had abused people.”
In order to justify this claim, the witnesses in the hearing were not any passengers, but only... “two gardai who gave evidence.”
Waters explained that the bus driver had “abandoned his bus for more than an hour…refusing to drive the bus while Andy was still in it” and Heasman had thus “voluntarily left the bus.”
Current legislation states that a bus driver “shall take reasonable steps” to “ensure” that masks are worn by passengers, but that this does not apply to one who “has reasonable excuse for not wearing a face covering.” No mention is made of any proof of exemption being required.
“Then the gardai were threatening to drag Andy off the bus. Now, who’s committing a breach of the peace here? Who’s guilty of public order?” Waters demanded.
Despite a “hugely grandiose speech” made by the judge about Heasman’s “terrible” actions and dubbing them “totally inappropriate”, his convictions were thus not related to masks at all.
A plan to instill fear and enforce masks
LifeSiteNews spoke to the court official acting as registrar in yesterday’s conviction who confirmed that Heasman had been convicted purely for failing to give his name and address to the police officer. The official added that another offense against public order was taken into consideration: namely, an accusation of Heasman using “threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior, with intent to provoke a breach of the peace, or being reckless to whether a breach of the peace might have been occasioned.”
Waters mentioned this fact, saying that the police “trumped-up a public order charge, on the basis of the f-word, and then tried to pad that out with other stuff that might have happened because people on the bus were insulted.”
To what end then, have the media and the police run with the line that Heasman has been arrested for not wearing a mask? How has the conviction of a man under public order offenses, which does even seem justified when viewing the footage, been proclaimed as a just imprisonment for one who refused to wear a mask?
Waters and O’Doherty provided an answer to the question. “The media headlines tonight suggest that Andy Heasman was jailed for two months because of not wearing a face mask. That is absolutely not true...That’s the impression the media want to give for the reason that they want to scare the public into believing ‘Oh, I must wear a mask now, that’s the end of my protest’.”
Waters described the promotion of a culture of fear, in which people wear masks out of submission, fearful of what their neighbors might report, or what convictions the police might serve. The police are “bullying” people into obeying the COVID laws so “that they should obey them.” But if people don’t obey the laws, Waters added, what the police do “is they move onto another public order act…or in some instances road traffic act.”
Waters said that he had heard the police commissioner himself describe that very plan. “The gardai commissioner, said this himself, that they were going to get people with the road traffic act and the Public Order Act if they couldn’t get them with the COVID. So this is all a set up.”
“What they’re trying to do is move all of the so-called regulations, out of the realm of law altogether, and place them in the realm of culture. So people will either police themselves or police each other, or both.”
“So that in the end the guards will just have to drive around scowling at people, and they will just do what they think they’re supposed to do.”
It seems then that John Waters’s comments are not wild theories, as the very scenes which he is describing are already happening. Neighbors are beginning to turn on neighbors in reporting ‘COVID crimes’. The police seem to be morphing into something out of an Orwellian novel with every passing day. Justice and law seem to be rapidly replaced by propaganda and intimidation.
In fact, when he was finally released, Heasman described a conversation he had with the police in the prison, which seems to support the new Orwellian police ideal. “Do you want me to make myself sicker for you?” he asked in response to being forced to wear a mask inside despite his asthma. “One of them actually said ‘Yeah’.”
“There’s no exemptions here.”
Heasman has a GoFundMe page, in order to support the movement “to protect our Constitution and Christian faith, and to make our country a giant among nations again.”