THE TWO Irish women who were arrested after refusing to enter mandatory hotel quarantine in Dublin have been treated “worse than animals”, one of their mothers has claimed.
Niamh Mulreany and Kirstie McGrath are now in quarantine having returned to Ireland from the United Arab Emirates last Friday.
The pair had originally travelled to the UAE to undergo cosmetic procedures.
An issue arose when they allegedly refused to enter the mandatory hotel quarantine in place for anyone entering Ireland.
As a result, they were arrested for breaches of the Health Act and were later detained at Dochas women’s prison after failing to fund bonds and sureties for bail.
Since then, their bail conditions have been relaxed with the pair now staying in quarantine at a hotel together in Dublin, having flown out to the UAE after being bought the flights as birthday presents by their families and friends.
It has also since emerged that neither woman underwent the procedures they first flew out for.
In another twist, McGrath also returned a positive result on her most recent Covid-19 test in a development that has seen seven gardai go into self-isolation while the so-called "Dubai Two” have come in for stern criticism.
Speaking to the Irish Mirror, Mulreany’s mother said the two women were “being made examples of.”
Sabina Mulreany, a frontline worker herself, said: “When those girls got on to the plane in Dubai they did not have Covid-19. 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 are being treated worse than animals - this is a complete circus.”
Mulreany’s mother explained that the two women had been careful to check with the airline they were travelling with, as well as the government guidelines, before travelling.
They were under the impression that they only needed negative PCR tests and medical documentation to travel but, after being barred from their initial flight, ended up stranded in Dubai for two days before a flight could be arranged.
“The girls have done nothing wrong. They didn’t break any rules and followed all guidance,” she said.
“Why are they being made examples of and why not those who gave vaccines to people who were not yet entitled to them?"
She claimed the two women are “suffering psychologically” as a result of the experience.
“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 court house due to Covid-19 restrictions.”