| 4°C Dublin

Test results Dubai duo's HSE Covid-19 tests return negative after pair enter mandatory hotel quarantine

When the Dublin friends entered the women’s section of Mountjoy prison on Saturday night two PCR tests were carried out on them.


Kirstie McGrath

Kirstie McGrath

Kirstie McGrath

Covid-19 tests carried out by the HSE on Sunday night on two mothers who were ordered into mandatory quarantine after a trip to Dubai have returned negative results.

Ms Mulreany, 25, of Scarlett Row and Kirstie McGrath, 30, from Rialto allegedly refused to enter into quarantine and were subsequently arrested for breaches to the Health Act last Friday after they arrived into Ireland on a flight from Dubai.

When the Dublin friends entered the women’s section of Mountjoy prison on Saturday night two PCR tests were carried out on them. The women had already had three negative PCR tests and an antibody exam.

The pair were granted bail at Tallaght District Court but remained in custody and detained at the women’s prison of Mountjoy as the pair could not access financial funds needed for bonds and sureties.

The High Court on Sunday made orders allowing Ms Mulreany, a mother-of-one and Ms McGrath a mother-of-two to leave prison. Mr Justice Paul Burns amended bail conditions imposed on the friends enabling them to leave prison and continue to quarantine at a designated hotel.


Niamh Mulreany attending court

Niamh Mulreany attending court

Niamh Mulreany attending court

The test carried out at the women’s prison on Ms McGrath returned a false positive result while Ms Mulreany tested negative.

When the girls entered the mandatory quarantine hotel on Sunday night HSE designated officials carried out a fifth PCR test. Both women received texts from the HSE on Tuesday afternoon informing them their results were negative.

Ms Mulreany’s parents confirmed both girls have returned negative results to Sunday’s night’s tests.

Speaking on behalf of the friends, the parents also confirmed that both girls are sharing a double room at the quarantine hotel where they are staying.

They had asked authorities, Department of Health, for independent PCR tests to be carried out on the girls on Monday evening.

She said a GP was to be allowed to enter the hotel at 7.30am on Tuesday. However, at 1.11am on Tuesday legal representatives were told that this had been stopped.

In correspondence from the quarantine hotel where the friends are staying, the girl’s parents were told, “access to the mandatory quarantine facility is not approved”.

The letter adds: “The HSE as the person approved by the Minister for Health to conduct RT-PCR tests with the applicable travellers in designated facilities under section 38 of the Health Act. The Minister has not designated or approved any person other than the HSE to conduct RT-PCR tests.

“There is no entitlement accruing to persons in quarantine to have RT-PCR tests conducted by anyone other than the HSE. In the circumstance the Department of Health cannot agree to the facilitation of a privately sourced PCR test.”

In response, Ms Mulreany’s parents, who are also speaking on behalf of both of the friends said: “Niamh and Kirstie are being made examples of it’s as simple as that and the question has to be asked why?

"When those girls got onto the plane in Dubai they did not have Covid-19. The girls left Ireland on the morning of March 24 and the new rules on quarantining did not come in until March 26, two days later so why is this happening?

“These two girls are not statistics and what is happening is having an awful affect on them.”

Ms Mulreany parents added that the friends “are being treated worse than animals - this is a complete circus.

“The girls have done nothing wrong. They didn’t break any rules and followed all guidance. Why are they being made examples of and why not those who gave vaccines to people who were not yet entitled to them?

“They checked with the airline they were travelling to Dubai with and Government authorities as to what guidelines they had to follow. They were told they were allowed to travel as long as they had negative PCR tests and medical documentation explaining why they were leaving the country. They followed all the guidelines they were told to do.

“They were kept in awful conditions in prison and left in a garda van for almost four hours in the heat prior to their court appearance on Saturday as they could not enter the court house due to Covid-19 restrictions. Both girls are suffering psychologically as we all are. They have never been in trouble and have no criminal convictions.”

The arrest of the two women and subsequent court action has now resulted into a constitutional challenge against laws requiring persons to enter mandatory quarantine on their arrival into Ireland from certain countries.

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

Online Editors

Top Videos