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facing charges Beauty salon owner arrested over lockdown breach says she 'doesn't regret' re-opening

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Christine McTiernan pictured outside Swords District Court this afternoon

Christine McTiernan pictured outside Swords District Court this afternoon

Christine McTiernan pictured outside Swords District Court this afternoon

The Balbriggan woman who was arrested yesterday after breaking lockdown restrictions to reopen her beauty salon has said she does not regret her actions.

Christine McTiernan was arrested and brought to Balbriggan Garda station just before noon by gardai after she reopened her C&N Beauty Rooms for the second day in a row.

Despite being told by Gardai to close her salon on Tuesday morning, she reopened again yesterday and was arrested .

She was later brought to Swords District Court and now faces several charges in relation to the breaking of lockdown rules.

Gardaí say they were also investigating a demonstration that was held in Balbriggan at around the same time, where four men and three women were arrested in relation to the protest and alleged breaches of the Health Act.

Six of these arrests were dealt with by way of Fixed Penalty Notice.

Another person arrested, a man aged in his 50s, has been charged in relation to this incident.

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Christine McTiernan pictured at her premises

Christine McTiernan pictured at her premises

Christine McTiernan pictured at her premises

Meanwhile Ms McTiernan faces another hearing on March 25.

“I was quite shocked at the number of gardai who arrived to arrest me,” she said.

“I’m five foot, I’m no threat to anybody and I’ve never been in trouble in my life with the guards, ever.

"It was shocking to see. If they thought I was that much of threat to have that many Gardai there, they would have handcuffed me, but they didn’t.

“I just walked out of the salon by myself and they gave me a few minutes to lock up.

“Now, they were lovely, the guards, they were very sympathetic and very respectful.

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Christine McTiernan

Christine McTiernan

Christine McTiernan

"They gave me a cup of tea and they sent out for biscuits for me.

"I was well looked at in the Garda station. They said they understood where I was coming from but that they had a job to do.”

Christine said today that she would not reopen the salon again until at least after the court date but added that she did not regret her actions.

“I’m back in court in March,” she said. “The main charge is for opening the salon against restrictions while the lockdown is going on.

"I had to sign (a form) to say I would not open again and if I did I would be arrested and I would be locked up. That’s what I was told.

“But I don’t regret taking a stand because I still stand by 100 per cent, that I still need to make a living. That hasn’t changed.

“But if anything, I hope it has brought some attention (to the fact) that the Government needs to help. If you’re not going to let me open my business to make a living and pay my bills, then help me.

“That’s the bottom line. If you want me to stay at home, then do something for me at least, and not just for me, for all the small business owners that are struggling.”

Christine said she has been overwhelmed by the support she has received from all over the country and even across the world.

“The support has been unreal, it really has,” she added.

“Somebody texted yesterday to say I was on the news in Canada. I never expected this level of attention but I appreciate it and I’m very grateful for the positive comments and well wishes that are coming in.

“The support has been unbelievable and from other small businesses as well,” she added.

“Some are saying we wish we had the guts to do the same as you and I understand people fear the unknown about what will happen if they reopen.

“I can say to other businesses that you will get arrested and you will go to court and you will probably end up having to pay a fine.

"But I don’t regret what I did. I was at the end of my tether, I really was.”

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