Covid skeptic Joe McCarron didn’t believe the disease would kill him. He was wrong. Blinded by Covid conspiracy theories, the 75-year-old allowed a group to remove him from the intensive care unit at Letterkenny University Hospital in Co Donegal on the pretext that they were ‘saving his life “.
We weren’t listening to the doctors telling him he could die. Today he will be buried in a cemetery miles from the house he shared with his distressed wife, Una.
“The family is angry. They are sad. They are shocked at what these reckless people have done”Said a family friend yesterday.
Letterkenny’s upsetting scenes were filmed by Italian anti-vaccination extremist Antonio Mureddu who led McCarron’s removal from the hospital.
“First Joe sat at home, struggling to breathe, then was taken to the hospital, then he thought the hospital was there to kill him. Said the friend of the family.
“It was a crazy idea from someone who was a good person. That he let himself believe that what he was being told was the truth shocked us all. ”
But no amount of social media theater was enough to help the former radio DJ caring for his ailing wife.
When McCarron, who had refused to wear a mask before falling ill, was readmitted to hospital two days later, the disease had spread to his brain. If he had survived, he would never have spoken or walked again. He took his last breath last Friday night in the very hospital where doctors begged him to stay when men who had described themselves as his “friends” persuaded him to leave.
Gardaí is expected to speak with a number of people about the events that led McCarron to leave hospital last week, on Independent Sunday has learned.
In Donegal, there is a small movement called the ‘Common Law Information Center’, which was created to oppose repossession of homes but is now spreading Covid-19 lies.
It was originally intended to help real estate developers in financial difficulties and disrupt the banking system. But there was a split and now some are using the platform to peddle falsehoods.
Two of those involved in the Covid conspiracy group include former Sinn Féin election candidate Tom Dignam and anti-establishment activist Michael McGee, who have been trying to reinforce alarmist misinformation about the pandemic for months.
Earlier this month, McGee joined Mureddu at Letterkenny University Hospital when the Italian far-right extremist asked McCarron, a member of the group, who is seriously ill, to leave.
McCarron, who ran unsuccessfully in the 2014 local election for Ben Gilroy’s Direct Democracy Party in Ireland, was in intensive care when Mureddu, McGee and others arrived.
Mureddu ordered a breathless McCarron to “fuck the camp out of this place” as doctors and nurses begged him to stay, fearing he would die at home.
“It’s better if he dies in the house than here… he’s going to die with us,” Mureddu said in a video that was first shared on an app seen as the new dark web for extremist content. .
One of the doctors can be heard speaking directly to McCarron, saying, “You have the right to decide what to do. You are barely able to breathe. We want you to stay.
But Mureddu interrupts, telling McCarron, “If you want to stay, they’ll kill you.”
In the elevator, Mureddu – who spoke at a meeting of members of the Common Law Information Center in Ballybofey the day before – thanks McGee as they descend into the elevator.
Hours later, McCarron took to Facebook where the failed election candidate, whose campaign documentation highlighted the need for “access to health care” in County Donegal, wrote a warning that his supporters stay away from the hospital “if you value your life”.
He was readmitted to hospital on September 16 worse than when he arrived.
In a second video shared the next day, Mureddu is seen sitting next to McGee, whom he describes as “one of the team members who managed to create the paperwork” that led to McCarron’s “rescue.”
He claimed to have “model letters” that he offered to the public and that he oddly said “give a power of attorney to the issuer on hospitalized patients”.
“We decided with Michael to make a video to give all the documents you need,” he said.
In the video, McGee alleges that Letterkenny University Hospital and An Garda Síochána “don’t work for the government … they’re private companies.” He said his group will ask the hospital management questions.
A photo posted to Facebook on September 13 shows a meeting at the Common Law Information Center in Ballybofey with McGee and Mureddu.
On a whiteboard to the left of the men are details of Muraddu’s secret Covid plot chain on a special app.
McGee is no stranger to authority questioning and in 2019 a court heard how he compared customs officials to those involved in the Holocaust when he was arrested at a checkpoint for using illegal fuel, stating, “I saved people from you c ** ts so f * * k off and pissing off someone else.” If you didn’t write the law, you can’t enforce it.
His Facebook page also shares articles on how so-called “masked warrants” are a “big business” and earlier this year a post falsely stated, “Take the jab, get the slab”. He also shared a post asking if US President Joe Biden is real, claiming he’s an actor and a hologram.
Such is the extent of the inaccurate posts, Facebook blocked one on March 8 for containing “false information”.
When McGee was contacted by the Independent Sunday before McCarron died and asked if he, McGee, was a member of the Common Law Information Center, he replied, “Maybe I am, yeah.”
Although he appeared in footage at Letterkenny Hospital and in videos of the McCarron incident, McGee claimed he was not involved, telling this newspaper: “No, I was not. no, no, I wasn’t.
But when asked about the video he appeared in with Muraddu, he replied, “Was I in a video with Antonio? We made a video, maybe a few weeks ago. Why? “
Asked again about the specific videos released last week, he said, “There have been a few videos about Joe, repossessions, a lot of different things. I do not really know.
“I don’t know where you got the information from. You will print what you are going to print anyway. This conversation is over, I have nothing more to say.
Dignam, meanwhile, referred to his “friend and colleague” McCarron in a Facebook post on September 14, saying he “would be placed in a medically induced coma and ventilated for 16 hours.”
“He did not agree to it. This morning, five members of the Common Law Information Center as well as Joe’s wife Una arrived at the hospital. Papers were provided to officials, ”he wrote, adding that McCarron had left the hospital“ along with several members of the Common Law Information Center ”.
The next day, Dignam posted: “Anyone who thinks they might have Covid-19 stay away from the hospital. Don’t become another Covid statistic for the company known as HSE. “
Earlier this month, on September 1, he wrote, “So Donegal has the lowest vaccine usage. Once again, the people of Donegal have refused to be dictated by this corrupt establishment. “
Indeed, Dignam rejects most conventions, believing that there is excessive government control.
In October 2019, he appeared in Letterkenny District Court facing a number of automobile charges which he described as “legal fiction”, including without insurance, without a driver’s license and possession of a phone. portable while driving.
When the judge adjourned the case, Dignam replied: “I want a million euros to come back to this court. “
Requested by the Independent Sunday prior to McCarron’s death to respond to the Common Law Information Center’s role in the Letterkenny incident, Dignam said, “I’m not making any comment, I’m not making any comment on this. “
When asked if he wanted to comment on the fact that McCarron’s disease seemed to be getting worse because of people like him, he told this newspaper: “I don’t want to comment at all. I do not want to say anything. I am not making any comments. I’ll hang up on you, okay? “
Mureddu was an integral part of last week’s incident, which sparked controversy in Galway in 2018 when he tried to hold a rally in support of Italy’s far-right party Lega Nord.
There are also images online of him arguing with gardaí who arrested him for speeding. “I also pay your salary,” he said to a garda.
A woman who worked with him described him as someone who does not have “the depth of self-criticism.”
“In his head, he is the only person who is right, everyone is wrong and wrong and he is the one who has the truth,” she said.
During last week’s incident at Letterkenny University Hospital, Gardaí issued a warning to all units regarding the “dangerous” Mureddu.
A Garda source confirmed that a circular had been sent to all Co Donegal officers, saying Mureddu was “violent” and calling on members to “exercise caution”.
“Any calls to the hospital had to be treated as a priority, but the guards were warned to be careful. McCarron was positive for Covid and these people were not following any of the restrictions, so they were told to be careful. ”
Mureddu could not be contacted for comment.
And as the news of McCarron’s death shocked the small community of Dungloe yesterday, McGee could not be reached by this newspaper.
When Dignam was asked yesterday if he was taking on the role of the Common Law Information Center, he replied, “I’m at a funeral. No comment. No comment. He then hung up.
At Letterkenny University Hospital, staff are in shock from the past week.
“It’s hard enough to do the day job; managing sick people, controlling infections without them disturbing everything, ”said a staff member.
Independent adviser Michael Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig urged residents of West Donegal “not to listen to misinformation”. “It’s crazy right, ideology and he kills people, ”he said.