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regulation breach Gardaí to hand out fines for travel breaches after beauty salon in Dublin reopened despite Covid restrictions

Christine McTiernan – who runs C&N Beauty Room in Balbriggan – “took a stand” because she believes small businesses should be allowed to operate despite lockdown restrictions requiring all non-essential retail to remain closed.

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Christine McTiernan

Christine McTiernan

Christine McTiernan

Gardaí are investigating after a Dublin beauty salon opened to the public yesterday, with the owner arguing she has a constitutional right to earn a living.

Christine McTiernan – who runs C&N Beauty Room in Balbriggan – “took a stand” because she believes small businesses should be allowed to operate despite lockdown restrictions requiring all non-essential retail to remain closed.

Ms McTiernan said her salon had been inundated with calls and was “booked up” within hours.

“I 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’,” she said.

“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.”

However, as businesses are currently not allowed to open under Level 5 restrictions, gardaí called to the salon to request Ms McTiernan to close.

A Garda spokesperson said: “Gardaí attended a retail premises on Dublin Street in Balbriggan and are investigating alleged breaches of public-health regulations. A file will be submitted for the Director of Public Prosecution.

“A number of fixed-payment notices will be issued, where appropriate, for breaches of travel restrictions for non-essential reasons.”

Business owners have hit out at the Government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic after Cabinet agreed to keep the country in lockdown until at least April 5.

TV chef Paul Treyvaud said his aunt-in-law passed away after contracting Covid-19 last year, yet he’s determined to open his restaurant in July, regardless of public health regulations.

Mr Treyvaud (46), who has appeared on Virgin Media One and hosts Treyvaud Travels on Amazon Prime, said on Twitter: “I have decided I am opening my restaurant July 1, no matter what. That gives them four months to sort out everything. I’ve done everything I’ve been told to do. 55k came in from the UK with the variant, now over 1500 from Brazil. The problem is no longer us. It’s an incompetent Gov.”

The tweet has gone viral with thousands of retweets and likes.

The businessman, who runs Treyvaud’s restaurant in Killarney, Co Kerry, says he will open up and is “prepared to be arrested”.

Mr Treyvaud, originally from south Dublin, said: “I’m not saying I’ll open now – it’s not safe. But I’m giving four months for the Government to get this (virus) under control.

“And if not, I will open up in July. My wife lost her aunt to Covid-19 last year and my wife got it too, so I know how bad this is. I fully understand and I commiserate with anyone who’s lost anyone to Covid-19. But we can’t just look at the Covid situation here – we must look at everything Covid has done, destroying livelihoods.

“I’m not an anti-vaxxer – but if businesses can’t open in rural Ireland to get July and August trade, so many will close. Obviously no one wants to be arrested, or anything like that to happen.

“But I’m prepared to put my neck on the line for my business, 100pc, and to save my livelihood and the livelihoods of my staff.

“They (the Government) didn’t listen to Australia, who told us to put everyone in mandatory quarantine.”

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