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bail denied Man (32) charged after refusing to quarantine in Dublin following cosmetic surgery trip to Turkey

A judge remanded Sam Marie McGinley (32) in custody until August 16 and asked for the defendant to be Covid tested while in prison.


Photo: Stock image

Photo: Stock image

Photo: Stock image

A Derry man who refused to enter a quarantine hotel in Dublin after he returned from Turkey where he had elective cosmetic surgery carried out has been remanded in custody.

Sam Marie McGinley (32) from Rose Court in the Waterside area of Derry, arrived at Dublin International Airport on Wednesday following a week-long clinical visit to Turkey.

Derry Magistrates Court was told because McGinley could not afford to pay the €1,700 hotel quarantine charge, he instead travelled back to his home in Derry.

When he arrived back home, he contacted the police about another matter and when they called to his home, he told the officers he had just returned from Turkey.

Initially the officers took no action, but when they later realised that McGinley should be in quarantine, they returned to his home and arrested him.

He was charged on August 3 as he contravened Health Protection (Coronavirus International Travel) Regulations, which has a maximum fine of £5,000 (€5,880).

Applying for bail, solicitor Paddy McGurk told District Judge Barney McElholm that the defendant was confused about the coronavirus travel legislation in that he thought as he had flown back to Dublin, he did not have to enter quarantine.

Mr McGurk said following the defendant's arrest, he was taken to Musgrave Street Police Station in Belfast and detained overnight.

He said the defendant suffered from "severe anxiety and depression”.

"The defendant has fallen foul of the confusion surrounding the legislation.

"He is now in custody because he cannot afford the cost of the quarantine hotel. As a result of his serious mental health problems, he now finds himself in a very difficult situation because of the legislation which is confusing," Mr McGurk said.

Objecting to bail, a police officer said: "Turkey has been on the red list for over 12 months.

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"When the officers spoke to him, they asked him to explain the Covid regulations in relation to his personal case, but he point blank refused. They asked him several times again, but he again refused.”

The District Judge said the laws were made by the politicians.

He said: "If I grant this man bail, the police will just go back to his home address and arrest him again.

"It would be perverse of me to release him on bail knowing the police would be obliged to arrest him. I have to refuse bail. To allow him bail to his own address puts him in a situation where he would continue to commit an offence.”

The investigating officer said as the defendant had returned from Turkey on August 3, he would therefore have to quarantine until August 14.

Judge McElholm remanded the defendant in custody until August 16 and asked for the defendant to be Covid tested while in prison.

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