The “Dubai two” are to continue with their legal challenge against Ireland’s quarantine system. Even though they will be released from quarantine long before the lawsuit can be decided.
Niamh Mulreaney and Kirstie’s McGrath case will not be heard until April 20 at the earliest. That is according to a timescale set by the High Court.
The pair will have completed their mandatory quarantine by that stage.
According to a source, McGrath and Mulreaney are to persist with the legal challenge. They are persisting as they do not want potential criminal convictions.
They had orginally refused to enter into the mandatory hotel quarantine after arrving at Dublin Airport from Dubai.
Both women had been in Dubai for breast enhancement surgery, but did not go ahead with the procedures. They also claimed they were gifted the trip and were unaware of the qurantine rule introduced into Ireland when they returned.
“Treated worse than animals”
The parents of one of the women, Eddie Freeman and Sabrina Mulreaney claimed that the pair were treated “worse than animals”. They also added that the whole situation has become a “complete circus”.
It was also reported that Ms McGrath returned a false positive for Covid-19. This happened while she was being held at the Dochas Centre women’s prison at Mountjoy over the weekend.
The HSE carried out further testing, following their release from the prison as ordered by the High Court. All tests returned negative results.
The two women returned three negative PCR tests, along with an antibody exam.
The legal challenges
One ground of this constitutional challenge is to focus on proportionality of requiring them (the Dubai two) to quarantine in circumstances, where they tested negative for the virus three times.
Their legal team is also looking into another ground that the legislation has created a rare “absolute liability force”, for which no defence is available.
Another ground being investigated by their legal team is whether or not is is lawful for an appeals officer to restrict their liberty.
“Being made an example of”
Despite being grated bail at Tallaght District Court, Mulreaney and McGrath were detained at the Dochas Centre as they did not have the funds to pay bonds and independent sureties.
They were allowed to leave prison by the High Court. They were told to enter quarantine however.
Ms Mulreany’s parents confirmed that both women returned negative tests.
“Niamh and Kirstie are being made examples of”, said Mulreaney’s mother Sabrina who is also a frontline worker. “It’s as simple as that and the question has to be asked, why?”.
“When those girls got on to the plane in Dubai they did not have Covid-19″.
Sabrina also added, “The girls left Ireland on the morning of March 24 and the new rules on quarantining did not come in until March 26, two days later, so why is this happening? These two girls are not statistics and what is happening is having an awful effect on them”.
“They were kept in awful conditions in prison and left in a Garda van for almost four hours in the heat prior to their court appearance on Saturday as they could not enter the courthouse due to Covid-19 restrictions”.
“Both girls are suffering psychologically, as we all are”.