Monday, July 22, 2024

Irish woman charged with ‘attempted suicide’ in Dubai has travel ban lifted

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The Irish premier, Simon Harris, has said that a travel ban imposed by Dubai authorities on Tori Towey, an Irish woman who was reportedly charged with attempted suicide, has been lifted.

Towey, 28, a flight attendant from Co Roscommon, was charged with attempted suicide and alcohol abuse after waking up in a police station after an attack, Irish parliamentarians were told.

Dubai authorities had also banned her from leaving the state, the Dáil chamber heard.

Addressing the Irish parliament on Wednesday afternoon, Harris said: “I’ve just been informed that the travel ban has been lifted, that the embassy will take Tori to the airport as soon as she is ready to go and that the embassy of course will continue to follow up on the case, which is still active as of now.”

He thanked the Irish embassy in the United Arab Emirates for their work on the case.

Mary Lou McDonald, the leader of Ireland’s main opposition party, Sinn Féin, had raised the case in the Irish parliament on Wednesday for the second day in a row, criticising what she said was the “medieval, grotesque treatment of women” in the United Arab Emirates.

She said she had spoken to Towey and her mother, Caroline, who is with her in Dubai. “[Tori] does not belong to Dubai, she belongs at home in Ireland,” McDonald said.

The taoiseach thanked McDonald and the Roscommon TD Claire Kerrane for raising the “distressing” case. He said the Irish embassy in the United Arab Emirates had been in constant contact with Towey.

“We want Tori Towey back in this country, we want her back home in Roscommon,” Harris said.

“No effort will be spared by us, by Ireland, to make progress on this matter, to get Tori home. She’s not a criminal, she’s a victim of gender-based violence.”

Harris said he had spoken to Ireland’s deputy premier, Micheál Martin, who is the minister of foreign affairs, and Ireland’s ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.

Her aunt Ann Flynn said both were trying to stay positive. “They’re very nervous and can’t wait to get home,” she told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

“It’s really terrible that this has happened to a young woman that was full of life, full of adventure, she loved travelling.”

Radha Stirling, founder of the Detained in Dubai group, said the support of the Irish people and the Irish government had “given them hope and inspiration”. She said the case was due to be heard next week.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said it was providing “ongoing consular assistance” in the case, as was Ireland’s embassy in the United Arab Emirates.

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