Covid-19: Dublin women charged for refusing hotel quarantine

Published
Related Topics
image copyrightBrian Lawless
image captionThe quarantine rules came into effect on Friday 26 March

Two Dublin women have been charged with refusing to go into hotel quarantine after arriving home from Dubai.

Kirstie McGrath, 30, of St Anthony's Road, Rialto, and Niamh Mulready, 25, of Scarlet Row, Essex Street West, were arrested at Dublin Airport on Friday.

Their solicitor said his clients were not aware of the regulations before they travelled to Dubai for breast augmentation surgery.

The women were remanded in custody with consent for bail.

They appeared at Tallaght District Court on Saturday, charged with resisting going into mandatory quarantine under the Health Act 2021.

Under the rules, people arriving into the Republic of Ireland from a list of 33 countries deemed to be of high Covid-19 risk or people who land without having recently tested negative for the virus must stay in quarantine for 14 days.

Constitutional challenge

Speaking to the court, garda (Irish police officer) Robbie Barber of Dublin Airport Garda Station said he had been called to Terminal 2 in the airport at 13:00 BST.

He told the court he had explained the consequences of not going into quarantine to Ms McGrath.

Garda Barber said she had been given a chance to make phone calls and consider the matter, before she was arrested at 14:50 GMT and taken to Ballymun Garda Station.

Ms Mulready also received a warning at the airport before being taken into custody.

Insp Luke Lacey of the Airport Garda Station objected to bail, saying it would make a mockery of legislation aimed at protecting the Republic of Ireland from new strains of coronavirus.

The solicitor representing both women said his clients would be challenging the constitutionality of the legislation.

Childcare

He said that being remanded in custody would be disproportionate given the offence they are charged with carries a maximum prison sentence of one month.

The court heard Ms McGrath has two children aged six and 10, and Ms Mulready has a seven-year-old child, and they had refused to go into quarantine as they needed to look after their children.

Identical bail conditions were set for both women, with each required to provide €800 (£680), and lodge €500 in cash.

An independent surety of €2,000, of which €1,800 would be in cash and €200 was to be frozen in each of the women's bank accounts, was also required by the court.

Both were required to surrender their passports and submit themselves to state-approved quarantine on their release.

They will be required to stay there for two weeks, although they will be able to leave after 10 days if they can provide a negative PCR test.

The women were remanded to appear at the District Court at the Criminal Courts of Justice on Friday 9 April.

More on this story