More cross border collaboration needed on travel restrictions – Judge

Derry Courthouse

A judge at Derry Magistrates Court has said there should be more co-ordination between North and South on travel restrictions.

He was speaking he remanded a Derry man who refused to quarantine after returning through Dublin from Turkey in custody.

The man’s solicitor said his client suffered from anxiety and depression, and it was a ‘very difficult situation with all sorts of confusion’.

Solicitor Paddy McGurk told the court that his client flew to Turkey from Dublin for a week and returned through Dublin on Wednesday. However, he did not go into quarantine in a hotel, as he said he could not afford the £1,700 it would have cost him.

On his return to Derry he had occasion to call the police on a different issue and then he openly admitted he had been to Turkey but refused to go into quarantine.

A police officer told the court the man had gone to Turkey for ‘elective cosmetic surgery’.

He said police had tried to persuade him to go into isolation but he had refused, saying he was testing himself and had no need to quarantine.

District Judge Barney McElholm said there should be more co-ordination between North and South on travel restrictions although he could not understand why anyone would want to go near an airport at the minute.

He refused bail and remanded the man in custody until August 16 when his isolation period would be up, saying he could mount another application on that date.