Two mothers accused of refusing to be placed into mandatory hotel quarantine have been released tonight.
Niamh Mulreany, 25 and Kirstie McGrath, 30, both of whom are from Dublin, were arrested for breaches to the Health Act on Good Friday, April 2nd. Both have been Covid-19 tested four times since entering the country 12 days ago.
The arrest and subsequent court action has now resulted into a constitutional challenge, which is to be heard next Tuesday, against laws requiring persons to enter mandatory quarantine on their arrival into Ireland from certain countries.
The pair are also being held on continuing bail until their District Court case is to be heard on May 4th.
The friends, who have three children between them, had been in Dubai.
At a special sitting of the High Court on Easter Sunday, the court declined the women’s application to be allowed quarantine at their respective homes instead of the hotel so they could be re-united with their children. Their barristers had requested their clients be released from mandatory quarantine on humanitarian grounds as both have children.
Breaking the new 14-day hotel quarantine law for travellers arriving in the State can result in a €2,000 fine and a sentence of up to one-month in jail.
The women’s defence team had said at their first hearing that his clients deny the charges. Last week, Ms Mulreany’s mother said that the friends were being “treated worse than animals.”
The HSE were contacted for a response and advised that the Department of Health were handling the matter.
A Department of Health spokesperson said: “In order to protect confidentiality, the Department of Health does not comment on individual cases.