The trial of Dublin women accused of refusing to enter mandatory hotel quarantine after returning from a trip to Dubai has been delayed by almost three months pending a constitutional challenge.
Kirstie McGrath, 30, with an address at St Anthony's Road, Dublin 8 and Niamh Mulreany, 25, from Scarlett Row, Essex Street West, Dublin 2 were arrested on the afternoon of 2 April at Terminal 2 in Dublin Airport.
The two friends, who deny breaching Section 38 of the the Health (Amendment) Act 2021, had just returned from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
A district court bail hearing on 3 April was told they went abroad for breast enhancement surgery.
Gardaí allegedly spent almost two hours trying explain the new regulations to the women, who claimed they did not know about the law change introduced to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Bail was originally set at €2,800 and they were remanded in custody, but the following day the High Court changed the terms.
It removed the requirement for sureties and money to be lodged, and allowed them go straight to the quarantine hotel for the minimum required period of 10 days, before they could go home.
The High Court was also told they did not have the cosmetic procedures, but that was the purpose of their trip to Dubai.
The underlying case resumed today at Dublin District Court, but they did not have to attend.
Judge Treasa Kelly heard the defendants were still challenging the constitutionality of the legislation surrounding the mandatory hotel quarantine system.
State solicitor Edward Flynn said the District Court prosecution has been stayed as a result of that, and he sought an adjournment until the end of July.
The women’s solicitor Michael French confirmed the challenge is listed on 11 May in the High Court for mention. A date for the full hearing, which is expected to be in June or July, has to confirmed, he added.
Judge Kelly adjourned the District Court case proceedings until 30 July next.
Disclosure of prosecution evidence has been provided to the women’s solicitor.
Breaking the 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 defence had said at their first hearing that the two women deny the charges. They had also provided three negative PCR tests in the week before their return.
As a condition of bail, the two women must remain contactable by phone and not leave the jurisdiction except for essential travel.