Republic of Ireland news

Judge says two women arrested at Dublin Airport after refusing to enter quarantine can be released from prison but must remain at hotel

A judge has said two women arrested at Dublin Airport after refusing to enter quarantine can be released from prison but must remain at a designated hotel.

The High Court rejected a bid by the mothers to quarantine at their homes so they could be re-united with their children.

The women - Niamh Mulreany (25) of Scarlett Row in Dublin and her friend Kirstie Shree McGrath (30), of St Anthony's Road in the city - were arrested following their alleged refusal to go a quarantine hotel on Friday after returning from a trip to Dubai.

They were granted bail on Saturday but were unable to satisfy the financial conditions and were held at Mountjoy women's prison.

Lawyers then mounted a constitutional challenge to laws requiring people to enter mandatory quarantine on their arrival into Ireland from certain countries to counter Covid-19.

The court heard that the women had travelled to the United Arab Emirates for cosmetic procedures as birthday presents from families and friends, although the surgeries did not go ahead.

Mr Justice Paul Burns granted bail yesterday on condition that they be of good behaviour with a reduced cash bond of €100.

He added that the pair may not have to spend the full 14 days at the hotel, given that there was an appeal mechanism and a waiver scheme for those who cannot afford the €1,850 cost.

Lawyers for the women had argued they had tested negative for Covid-19 and they had been unaware of the mandatory quarantine before leaving for Dubai.

The case will return to court later this month.

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Republic of Ireland news