| 6.2°C Dublin

Quar is over ‘Dubai Two’ and another woman released from hotel quarantine after negative Covid tests

The pair are also being held on continuing bail until their District Court case is to be heard on May 4.

Close

The "Dubai Two" Niamh Mulreany and Kirstie McGrath leaving the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santry, Dublin.

The "Dubai Two" Niamh Mulreany and Kirstie McGrath leaving the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santry, Dublin.

The "Dubai Two" Niamh Mulreany and Kirstie McGrath leaving the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santry, Dublin.

Three women who challenged the legality of their detention in the State’s Covid-19 hotel quarantine system were released last night and are back home with their families after getting negative Covid tests.

Niamh Mulreany, 25 and Kirstie McGrath, 30, who have been dubbed the ‘Dubai Two’, were arrested at Dublin Airport on their return from Dubai for breaches to the Health Act on Good Friday, April 2. Both have been Covid-19 tested four times since entering the country 12 days ago.

The arrest and subsequent court action resulted in a constitutional challenge, which is to be heard next week, against laws requiring travellers to enter mandatory hotel quarantine on their arrival into Ireland from certain countries.

Mother-of-two McGrath, 30, has an address at St Anthony’s Road, Dublin 8, and Mulreany, 25, is from Scarlett Row, Essex Street West, Dublin 2.

Close

Niamh Mulreany leaving the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santry, Dublin.

Niamh Mulreany leaving the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santry, Dublin.

Niamh Mulreany leaving the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santry, Dublin.

The pair are also being held on continuing bail until their District Court case is to be heard on May 4.

The Dublin friends, who have three children between them, had been in Dubai for cosmetic procedures. Both had tested negative to three PCR tests and an antibody exam prior to re-entering the country. The pair have now been PCR tested seven times in total.

They are now back home with their families, according to sources.

Close

Kirstie McGrath leaving the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santry, Dublin

Kirstie McGrath leaving the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santry, Dublin

Kirstie McGrath leaving the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santry, Dublin

They are among several people who have been released from mandatory hotel quarantine after taking legal challenges although the two women spent nearly two weeks in the system before being released.

Another woman who challenged the State’s hotel quarantine system has been allowed to go home after she tested negative for Covid tonight.

In the first of several actions that came before the High Court earlier yesterday, Justice Brian O'Moore heard that should Emma Kelly's Covid test, which taken on Tuesday morning is negative, then she will be allowed leave the Crowne Plaza Airport Hotel in Dublin.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

Ms Kelly, who is fully vaccinated against Covid, has been in quarantine since she came home from Dubai, to assist her family as her father undergoes surgery for cancer, on April 3.

The judge has directed an inquiry under Article 40.4.2 of the Constitution into Ms Kelly's detention.

Ms Kelly's action is due back before the court on Wednesday morning, although it is unclear whether it will now proceed given that she has already been released.

In addition, the judge also adjourned to Wednesday morning applications for similar inquiries brought on behalf of two other women currently quarantining at designated hotels.

Proceedings have been brought on behalf of Ballyfermot woman Philomema Meredith, who has been in quarantine since April 10 after returning from Dubai where she had been visiting an ill relative.

The court heard that the healthcare worker is fully vaccinated and has twice tested negative for Covid-19 in recent days.

She requires medicines to treat a number of health conditions she has, and has sought to have her quarantine reviewed.

The second application has been brought by South African native and Irish resident Charlene Heyns, who returned to Ireland from South Africa on April 9.

Counsel for Ms Heyns, a healthcare worker based in Letterkenny, Co Donegal, said she had been in South Africa undergoing some urgent medical treatment.

Counsel said that she has a cardiac condition, and is distressed and concerned at having to quarantine in the hotel room by herself given her medical history.

Counsel said that she has got her first shot of a two-dose vaccine and has twice tested negative for Covid-19 in recent days.

Mr Power said while they are separate actions it is both their cases that they are being detained, and that their detention is unlawful.

Counsel said that the grounds for bringing the challenges include that the women's constitutional rights have been breached, and that there is confusion over who is actually detaining the women.

There were also flaws in the system put in to individually review the cases of those subject to the mandatory quarantine that also rendered their detention unlawful, counsel added.

Their applications are all against hotel operators Tifco Ltd and Tifco Management Services (Ireland) Ltd, and the Minister for Health.

Both those applications came before the court on an ex-parte basis.

The Judge who adjourned the cases so the applications for inquiries can be heard in the presence of lawyers for the state, made a general observation about the financial implications for those taking such challenges.

The judge said that as a general observation, there was no guarantee that each and every application seeking an inquiry would be awarded their legal costs.

There was he said, "no open goal to shoot into" and while some other applicants had been successful in their actions, others may not be and could be exposed to significant legal costs.

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

Independent.ie


Privacy