A social media post, which alleges abrupt behaviour by a Garda towards an elderly person. In a confrontation over the wearing of a face mask, on the 103 bus from Dublin to Ashbourne last Monday night has attracted hundreds of messages of support.

The Facebook post, from Lara Lewis, said, ‘On the bus home from town to Ashbourne last night. The bus was stopped & a Guard got on the bus in Phibsboro to check everyone on bus had a mask on.

‘ A very elderly man did not. The guard made a total show of him & yelled at everyone on bus to dial 999 if we ever see anyone on a bus without a mask – I felt like a school child . I can’t imagine how the old man felt.

‘A girl at the back of bus provided the man with a mask to prevent him being thrown off the bus… the guard then continued in his threatening language telling the man “I could have arrested you for not wearing a mask”. Everyone on bus stayed silent – including me- but something is bugging me today ….though I know we should all wear masks on buses,

‘I felt the guard could have been kinder in his manner towards this man. He was elderly & I noticed that he even struggled wearing it after he was given it, & the guard had left…I feel that I should have helped in the situation but I was unsure what to do???

‘I know a lot of folk struggle with panic, anxiety, claustrophobia, general breathing .. etc… Any thoughts/advice on this… it troubled me today but was unsure what to do or how to intercept at the time…I felt trapped between regulations, compliance & compassion.’

There was plenty of backing from fellow Facebookers., controversially Sean O’ Bhrian posted, ‘Seán O Bhrián Pick on the weak and be a big hard man. Kick in the b****x is what that guard should have got. No law in place for the wearing of masks. But the sheep still follow the Wolf.

Another, Megan Rudie commented, ‘Megan Rudie Doing the right thing can sometimes mean you get arrested. We all need to address this and stop sitting back and letting it happen.’

The original post went up on Tuesday and by Wednesday morning there well over 200 posts the vast majority being sympathetic to the passenger.

When contacted by Meath Live, Lara said, ‘I’m not sure folk understand all this.’