A bench warrant has been issued in London for the arrest of UCD professor Dolores Cahill, who has failed to turn up to a number of hearings.
The prominent Covid sceptic and anti-vaccination campaigner is facing charges arising out of an allegedly illegal rally in Trafalgar Square in September last year.
She is charged with others of holding a gathering on September 19th of more than 30 people in an outdoor public place during the pandemic. The other charge relates to holding a gathering of more than six people in any place.
The initial hearing was on June 16th, at Westminster Magistrates Court in what is known as a “single justice procedure”. She was not required to attend that in person, but she was invited to submit a plea, which she did not do.
The court adjourned the matter to allow for a case management hearing on July 3rd. She did not attend that hearing. The case was adjourned again to give her an opportunity to be notified to July 20th, which she also did not attend.
Another attempt was made to contact her and she did not appear at the latest hearing on August 10th, at which stage a warrant was issued for her arrest. The case has been adjourned again until September 10th.
She gave her address as care of the Irish Freedom Party, Kandoy House, Fairview Strand, Dublin 3.
Prof Cahill resigned her position as the party chairperson in March following a speech she gave at an anti-lockdown rally in Herbert Park in Dublin on St Patrick's Day.
She quit four days after making unsubstantiated claims that children who wore face masks were being “starved” of oxygen and would have lower IQ.
“Wake up parents. Oxygen is required for your brain to function and I am saying to the children and teenagers of the world, to their parents and teachers, the individual ministers and prime ministers across the world have failed you,” she said.
“The reason that the globalists are pulling down the masks is that oxygen-deprived people are easier to manipulate. If the police stopped doing criminal and unlawful behaviour, this thing would be over. If everybody just stopped wearing masks, this would be over.”
It subsequently emerged that the party founder Hermann Kelly had written to her before her resignation telling her that her comments were "very unwise and, at best, a distraction from the strong anti-lockdown arguments the party has been making in the last 11 months."
Last month Prof Cahill was denied entry to the Dublin Bay South byelection count centre because she was not wearing a mask.
The independent candidate claimed she had an “inalienable right” to bodily integrity and was not required to wear a mask.
The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors described her treatment of gardaí on duty at the count centre as “abhorrent”.
Prof Cahill did not respond to a request for a comment.