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booked up Gardai arrive at beauty salon in Dublin after owner reopens to customers

Christine McTiernan is arguing she has the constitutional right to earn a living and should be allowed to operate despite businesses being closed under Level 5 restrictions.

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Christine McTiernan says she needs to open her beauty salon despite Covid restrictions in order to "survive and put food on the table"

Christine McTiernan says she needs to open her beauty salon despite Covid restrictions in order to "survive and put food on the table"

Christine McTiernan says she needs to open her beauty salon despite Covid restrictions in order to "survive and put food on the table"

A beauty salon in Dublin has opened today as the owner says: "I need to support my family and pay my bills".

Christine McTiernan is arguing she has the constitutional right to earn a living and should be allowed to operate despite businesses being closed under Level 5 restrictions.

C&N Beautyroom in Balbriggan opened to clients today and the phone was engaged for most of the morning.

Gardai are currently at the premises.

Ms McTiernan says she has received calls from people in Galway, Wicklow and "all over".

"The reaction has been phenomenal and the support has been great, people have been telling me fair play," Ms McTiernan said.

"We’ve been booked up”.

The business owner made an announcement outside her salon after opening this morning, saying she will continue to prioritise the health and safety of her staff and customers.

"I need to earn a living and to pay my bills.

"Through my business I have served the community of Balbriggan for six years. I have received a huge amount of positive messages and well wishes.

"I am thankful for their support. I operate my business to the highest health and safety standards and will continue to do everything possible to protect my business and staff.

“Finally my common law rights to provide for my family cannot be overturned. I would like to take the opportunity to thank everybody for their support,” she continued.

"This is to support my family. I need to pay my bills. I'm doing this for survival.

"This is for me. I have to do what I have to do to pay my bills. I have to put food on the table, I have to pay my rent. It is for survival. This is the reason why I'm doing this because I have to survive.

"Nobody else is going to put food on my table."

Under Level 5 restrictions, all non-essential businesses are currently closed.

Beauty salons and hairdressers have been shuttered since December 31.

In a statement posted on Instagram five days ago, Ms McTiernan said: "I never thought I'd be emailing this and going against the guidelines but with no help from the Government, and bills piling sky high the salon will be reopening next week.

"This decides [sic] didn't come lightly as I've tried everything to get help of the Government. Salon has been open 20 days since October 16th and no help since then. The decision isn't about greed or selfishness, it's about survival and keeping the salon a float.

"After six years of hard work keeping the salon going I don't want to see the doors shut for good. Apologies if this offends or upsets anyone with this decision but this is my livelihood.

"They are destroying small businesses but allowing big chains to stay open."

It's understood gardai have been trying to convince Ms Mctiernan to close the salon.

A Garda spokesman said: "Gardaí have attended a retail premises on Dublin Street in Balbriggan and are investigating alleged breaches of public health regulations.

"In respect of regulations, which are declared to be Penal Regulations under the Health Act 1947 as amended, An Garda Síochána continue to adopt the approach of the Four Es which see Gardaí engage, explain, encourage, and as a last resort, enforce.

"Where Gardaí find potential breaches of the public health regulations advices of the DPP will be sought or Fixed Payment Notices will be issued where appropriate."

It is believed officers had not witnessed the business in operation.

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