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On bail 'Dubai Two' accused of refusing to quarantine at hotel have cases adjourned

Mother-of-two Kirstie McGrath, (30) and Niamh Mulreany (25), a mother of one, were remanded on continuing bail at Dublin District Court for four weeks.

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Kirstie McGrath, 30 (left) and Niamh Mulreany, 25 (right) at Tallaght District Court on Saturday. Picture by Fergal Phillips

Kirstie McGrath, 30 (left) and Niamh Mulreany, 25 (right) at Tallaght District Court on Saturday. Picture by Fergal Phillips

Kirstie McGrath, 30 (left) and Niamh Mulreany, 25 (right) at Tallaght District Court on Saturday. Picture by Fergal Phillips

TWO women accused of refusing to go to a hotel to isolate after returning from a “boob job” trip to Dubai have had their cases adjourned pending a high court challenge to Ireland’s new mandatory quarantine laws.

Mother-of-two Kirstie McGrath, (30) and Niamh Mulreany (25), a mother of one, were remanded on continuing bail at Dublin District Court for four weeks.

Today was the second time their cases came before a district court following their arrest last week.

Ms McGrath, of St Anthony's Road, Rialto, and Ms Mulreany from Scarlett Row, Essex Street West, Dublin 2 were not required to be present for the brief hearing before Judge Treasa Kelly.

The friends are charged with breaching Section 38 of the Health Act 2021 by refusing to go to a designated hotel to be detained in quarantine last Friday, April 2.

They were arrested at Dublin Airport that day, after returning from the United Arab Emirates, where they had been due to, but did not ultimately undergo cosmetic surgery.

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Kirstie McGrath

Kirstie McGrath

Kirstie McGrath

The accused, who deny the charges, appeared in Tallaght District Court the next day, when bail was set including cash lodgements and independent sureties.

They were initially remanded in custody as they were unable to take bail up, but they later brought a High Court challenge and were released from prison after bail terms were relaxed, and returned to the hotel.

Today, defence solicitor Claire Finnegan told Judge Kelly there was a stay on the case pending judicial review proceedings which had since been brought by the accused at the High Court.

This centres on the constitutionality of mandatory quarantine and is due to resume on April 20.

Ms Finnegan asked the judge to adjourn the cases until after that date.

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Kirstie McGrath

Kirstie McGrath

Kirstie McGrath

Judge Kelly said the judicial review was very unlikely to be dealt with by then and nothing could be determined in advance of April 20.

She remanded both accused on bail to May 7.

During last week’s district court bail hearing, Judge Miriam Walsh noted the two friends had gone away for breast enhancement surgery and she questioned if that was essential travel.

"Colloquially referred to as a boob job", she later described the medical procedures.

The court heard gardaí spent almost two hours trying to explain the regulations to the women who claimed they did not know about the law change.

Defence solicitor Michael French applied for bail, citing humanitarian grounds.

He said his clients had children to care for, were not aware of the regulations and did not have the funds for the quarantine fees.

They had also provided three negative Covid tests in the space of a week and could quarantine at home, he argued.

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Niamh Mulreany attending court

Niamh Mulreany attending court

Niamh Mulreany attending court

Judge Walsh had set bail at €800 each, €500 of that in cash, as well as €2,000 independent sureties. The judge ordered €1,800 of those to be lodged in cash and the rest frozen in accounts. They were also told to surrender their passports.

However, in the High Court the next day, Mr Justice Paul Burns removed the surety requirement and released the women on their own bonds of €100, with no cash required.

He refused their request to be allowed quarantine at home.

During the High Court hearing, the judge was told the friends had travelled to the UAE, where they were due to but ultimately did not undergo cosmetic procedures.

The court heard that the trips and procedures were birthday presents from the women's families and friends.

Breaking new 14-day hotel quarantine law for travellers arriving in the State can result in a €2,000 fine and a sentence of up to one-month in jail.

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