A challenge to her detention in hotel quarantine taken by an Irish woman who flew home from Dubai after her father was diagnosed with cancer, will not go ahead after her release yesterday evening.
Emma Kelly, 30, received a negative Covid-19 test result shortly after 5pm yesterday, on day 10 of her quarantine and left the Crowne Plaza Hotel near Santry shortly afterwards.
Her Senior Counsel, Mícheál P O'Higgins, said the purpose of her action had been to secure her release and that had now been achieved.
He thanked the Minister for Health for recognising the exceptional humanitarian features in his client's case and asking for Ms Kelly's test results to be processed as quickly as possible.
Mr O'Higgins said there were still matters of concern.
He said gardaí, Army officers and Dublin Airport officials had no power to use their discretion in such a case to allow someone to quarantine at home. He also said the bar for a successful appeal against quarantine on humanitarian grounds, had been set at a level that was close to unattainable, but he said, they were matters for another case.
Mr O'Higgins also pointed out that it appeared that the company operating the quarantine hotels had been implementing the quarantine regime unlawfully by needlessly extending people's quarantine for a further 24 hours after receiving a negative day 10 result.
He said Ms Kelly's case had brought this to the attention of the State.
Mr O'Higgins asked for a recommendation to the legal aid board by the judge for a solicitor and two barristers and handed in a statement of means on behalf of his client.
Mr Justice Brian O'Moore raised issues about the statement of means and asked if he needed to know what the legal fees would be before making a recommendation to the legal aid board that Ms Kelly could not pay them.
In a statement, Ms Kelly said she was delighted with the outcome.
She thanked her lawyers, Mr O'Higgins SC and solicitors Michael French and Claire Finnegan.
She said she was relieved it had been clarified that people were not legally obliged to remain in quarantine once they had received their negative result on day 10.
She said many people in quarantine were receiving their PCR test results around 12 hours after having the test but were being told to wait another 24 hours in quarantine.
Ms Kelly said she thought this clarification would reassure many people, especially those in situations like hers.
She said she understood mandatory quarantine should be implemented in some situations for non vaccinated individuals, but she said it was her view that a safer and more logical approach should be established.
Separately, the judge ordered two further inquiries into the detention of two women whose cases first came before the court yesterday afternoon.
The full hearings into the legality of the detentions in quarantine of 52-year-old Charlotte Heyns, who flew from South Africa and Philomena Meredith, a health care assistant who had been in Dubai, will take place on Friday.
Yesterday, the court heard that Ms Heyns has cardiac issues and is suffering from high blood pressure. She had been in South Africa seeking medical assessment but normally lives in Ireland. She has had one dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
It heard that Ms Meredith had been visiting her daughter, who was ill, in Dubai and, as a fully vaccinated health care assistant, had not been expecting to quarantine in a hotel on her return.