Two mothers are due to appear in court on Saturday for refusing to go into quarantine after they arrived into Dublin Airport on a flight from Dubai.
Niamh Mulreany (25), a mother of one from Christchurch, Dublin, and her friend, Kirstie Shree McGrath (30), a mum-of-two from Fatima Mansions also in the capital, were returning home from Kings College Hospital in Dubai after receiving medical treatment for infections as a result of surgeries several weeks ago.
Prior to travelling to Dubai last week, they checked with their airline what travel guidelines they had to adhere to. They were informed that they needed a negative PCR test for Covid-19 taken 72 hours prior to arrival. They provided the documentation.
As they were about to return home last Tuesday night with another negative PCR test following their treatment, they were detained at the airport in Dubai where they were informed they could not board their return flight unless they paid €1,850 in hotel quarantine fees, for when they arrived into Dublin.
The women said they had spent all of their money and had no other funds. They were still not allowed to board the flight.
For the next two days they were left roaming the airport and nearby streets as Ms Mulreany’s father Eddie Freeman attempted to make contact with the Department of Foreign Affairs, several Embassies and local politicians.
Mr Freeman said: “My daughter followed every travel rule they were told to do. They were and are being treated in an unbelievable way. It took two days to even get them on another flight.
“Independent councillor Christy Burke made contact with Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney and between them they managed, after hours of work, to sort out a waiver form to get them onto a flight on Thursday night as both have children who are dependent on them.
“When they arrived into Dublin at around midday on Friday they were again told they would have to go to quarantine but the girls refused to sign any documentation.
“They are now being held in Ballymun Garda Station under what section we don’t know yet. They are very distressed. We are doing our best to sort this.”
Coveney: Hotel quarantine should not apply to coun…
He added: “This is a terrible situation to be in.”
In a statement, gardaí confirmed they were called to an incident in Dublin Airport on Friday afternoon.
They said two women were arrested for breaches of the Health Act and taken to Ballymun Garda station.
Both women have since been charged and are due to appear before the Criminal Courts of Justice on Saturday at 10.30am, the statement said.