Irishman living in Spain challenges Covid travel prosecution on return for sick mother

Irishman Living In Spain Challenges Covid Travel Prosecution On Return For Sick Mother
When he arrived at the airport, he was asked by a garda if his travel was essential, and he explained why he was here.
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High Court reporters

An Irishman living in Spain, who came back during the pandemic lockdown to look after his ill 85-year-old mother for a short time, is challenging his prosecution over returning to Spain, the High Court heard.

Ryan O'Gorman, who had been living and working seasonally in Ibiza for several years, returned to Ireland in June 2021 to look after his mother for a few days as she was recovering from Covid.


When he arrived at the airport, he was asked by a garda if his travel was essential, and he explained why he was here.

However, he subsequently received a €2,000 fixed penalty notice. When he failed to pay it a District Court prosecution followed.

A hearing of the prosecution is scheduled for this Friday.

On Monday, his counsel Conor Power SC, instructed by Brian Burns of Burns Kelly Corrigan Solicitors, was granted leave to seek an injunction prohibiting the prosecution.


The case is against the DPP, the Minister for Health and the State. The application was made on an ex-parte basis meaning only the O'Gorman side was represented.

Ms Justice Niamh Hyland indicated she was prepared to grant an order prohibiting the prosecution but would await until Mr Power returns to her before Friday to see if the State side will agree not to proceed.

Mr Power said previous regulations making it an offence for those resident in Ireland to travel abroad to look after a sick relative abroad were found to be discriminatory.

His case was that they were replaced with equally discriminatory regulation towards those who returned to Ireland from abroad for the same purpose.

In his proceedings, Mr O'Gorman seeks a number of orders and declarations including the quashing of the fixed penalty notice and the court summons.

He also seeks a declaration that the temporary restriction regulations under the Health Act 1947 was an unlawful breach of the right to travel under the Constitution and EU law.

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