Dubai Two's hotel quarantine case adjourned pending outcome of challenge to law

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 on April 2.

Niamh Mulreany leaving the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santry, Dublin. Niamh Mulreany and Kirstie McGrath were detained in Mountjoy Prison when they refused to quarantine after returning to Ireland from Dubai on April 2nd Pic Gareth Chaney / Collins Photos

Andrew Phelan

Two women accused of refusing to go into mandatory hotel quarantine after a “boob job” trip to Dubai have been further remanded on bail pending the outcome of their constitutional challenge to the law.

Mother-of-two Kirstie McGrath, (30) and Niamh Mulreany (25), a mother of one, had their cases adjourned to late July at Dublin District Court.

Today was the third time their cases came before a district court following their arrest last month.

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 on 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.

Kirstie McGrath

The court has heard they deny the charges.

Today, state solicitor Edward Flynn told Judge Kelly both accused had issued High Court proceedings challenging the constitutionality of the legislation under which they are being prosecuted.

As part of that challenge, the criminal prosecutions in the district court had been stayed, he said.

They could not proceed until the High Court had ruled on the constitutional challenge, Mr Flynn said.

The accused were represented by solicitor Michael French, who consented to his clients being remanded on continuing bail to July 30, for mention.

At a previous hearing, a judge noted the two friends had gone away for breast enhancement surgery, “colloquially referred to as a boob job.”

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.

Mr French said at the earlier hearing his clients 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 said.

During High Court proceedings, a 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 the 14-day hotel quarantine law for travellers arriving in the state, a measure aimed at reducing the spread of Covid-19, can result in a €2,000 fine and a sentence of up to one month in jail.

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