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PM ready to ‘intervene’ as Irish woman faces charges in Dubai

Prime Minister Simon Harris has said he is ready to “intervene” in the case of an Irish woman accused of committing a crime in Dubai.

The Irish Prime Minister made the comments in response to a question put to him in Parliament by Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald.

Ms McDonald said she spoke to Irish woman Tori Towey and found that “I want to go back home”.

“Her passport was destroyed. She was banned from traveling,” Mrs. McDonald said.

She also revealed that Ms Towey had been charged with ““attempted suicide and alcohol abuse”adding that she “is under incredible stress right now.”

“Her mother, Karolina, came to be with her.”

Mrs. McDonald said that as “urgent case”, The government must “The Dubai authorities are absolutely clear that no woman should be treated in this way and an Irish citizen, an Irish woman, will not be treated in this way.”

Tori Towey has been living in Dubai for a year after taking up a job with Emirates Airlines.

“the most terrifying circumstances”

In the Dáil, Prime Minister Simon Harris issued the following response.

“Thank you, Deputy McDonald, for bringing Tori’s case to my attention.” he said. “I was not directly informed about this situation, but I am very glad that I have now been directly informed about it.”

Mr Harris said he would work with the deputy “to intervene and see how we can support the Irish citizen in what seems to be a most awful situation, judging from what you have told me.”

In response, Ann Flynn, Tori Towey’s aunt, said the family was very upset and “I can’t wait”, to take her home.

“Tori can’t travel so Caroline has to stay with Tori so we’re all very concerned,” she added, adding that the family hopes to hear the couple are already on a plane and heading home. Anne Flynn said today. “I don’t know if this lawsuit will go any further, and if it does, what will happen? We’re just very hopeful.”

“It’s truly terrible that something like this happened to a young woman who was full of life, full of adventure and loved to travel.”

Ms Flynn, whose sister is Tori’s mother Caroline, added that she had been in contact with Caroline and Tori several times a day since the case broke.

“They both try to stay positive, we try to stay positive too, but it’s on your mind all the time and I’m sure they think about it too… it’s so far away,” she said.

Ms Flynn added she hoped the case would not go to court.

“quite surprising”

Elsewhere, Radha Stirling, a human rights activist with the group Detained in Dubai, said she confirmed the allegations Ms Towey made against the Dubai Public Prosecution Department.

She said: “So there is no difference in the charges and there is further work being done on this case, which is very strange considering that attempted suicide has supposedly been decriminalised in the last few years.”

Stirling added that the UAE has also announced the decriminalisation of alcohol consumption; “so it’s pretty surprising that they decided to press charges…to take her to court, knowing that she clearly needs help and just needs to get home to her family.”

She also revealed that authorities have Ms Towey’s passport but her mother Caroline is free to leave the Air BnB property where she is staying.

“It wouldn’t matter if she had a passport because it would contain a travel ban and she couldn’t leave without it. So if the police drop the case against her, she could get a passport and leave the country.”

She also added that Mrs. Towey and her mother were “really, really warm to the Irish community, to the Irish government” and “everyone is behind them and 100% behind them.”

“I think it’s about diplomacy in a case like this. Without the support of the Irish government, she would probably have been imprisoned, charged and deported,” she said.