Two mothers who refused to enter mandatory hotel quarantine after arriving into Dublin Airport on Friday following post-operative treatment at a hospital in Dubai were granted bail put on personal and independent sureties.
However, Niamh Mulreany, 25, a mother of a seven-year-old boy from Scarlett Row Dublin 2, and her friend Kirstie Shree McGrath, 30, of St Anthony’s Road, Dublin 8 and a mum-of-two remained in garda custody as they had limited financial means to meet bail conditions which include a personal bond of €800 and independent surety of €2,000.
Gardaí confirmed they had been called to Dublin Airport by the State Liaison officer on Friday afternoon and implemented the “4Es approach” — engaging, explaining and encouraging with enforcement a last resort following the two accused landing on a midday flight from Dubai.
The two friends were arrested for breaches of the health act after failing to comply with gardaí, and were taken to Ballymun Garda station where they were held overnight.
Judge Miriam Walsh, at Tallaght District Court on Saturday afternoon also said that each woman present herself and reside at a designated quarantine hotel upon taking up bail.
Defence solicitor Michael French, representing both women who were arrested and charged with breaching Section 38 of the Health (Amendment) Act 2021 by refusing to be detained in quarantine.
Mr French informed the court that both defendants had three children between them, were of “modest means”, and in both cases they were the sole carers while living on lone parent’s allowance.
He also said his clients would be willing to quarantine at home. Judge Walsh granted free legal aid to both of his clients.
However, the court was informed by the State that it would undermine legislation if house quarantine was agreed to by the court.
An individual convicted of such an offence carries a financial penalty of up to €2,000 or a month in prison.
Both cases were adjourned to April 9th at 10.30am.
Prior to travelling to Dubai 10 days ago, both women checked with their airline Emirates what travel guidelines they had to adhere to.
They were informed that they needed a negative PCR test taken 72-hours prior to arrival and medical letters as proof of the reason they were travelling.
They provided the documentation as both suffered complications from cosmetic procedures.
As they were about to return home last Tuesday night with another negative PCR test following their treatment, they were detained at the airport in Dubai where they were informed they could not board their return flight unless they paid €1,850 in hotel quarantine fees, for when they arrived into Dublin.
The two women said they had spent all of their money and had no other funds. They were still not allowed to board the flight.
For the next two days they were left roaming the airport and nearby streets as Ms Mulraney’s father Eddie Freeman attempted to make contact with the Department of Foreign Affairs, several Embassies and local politicians.
Mr Freeman said: “My daughter followed every travel rule they were told to do. They were and are being treated in an unbelievable way. It took two days to even to get them on another flight.
“Independent councillor Christy Burke made contact with Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney and between them they managed, after hours of work, to sort out a waiver form to get them onto a flight on Thursday night as both have children who are dependent on them.
“When they arrived into Dublin at around midday on Friday they were again told they would have to go to quarantine, but the girls refused to sign any documentation.
“They are very distressed. We are doing our best to sort this.This is a terrible situation for them to be in, and they are very upset and so are their families”.