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Roscommon woman Tori Towey has returned home from Dubai 



Roscommon woman Tori Towey has returned home from Dubai 

The Irishwoman detained in Dubai and charged after allegedly suffering brutal domestic violence there is “home” after being escorted to the airport, it is understood.

Her family has planned welcome home parties for the 28-year-old.

Radha Stirling, CEO of human rights organization Detained in Dubai announced on social media that the 28-year-old was home.

Earlier, Ms Stirling said Ms Towey was “super excited” and “really over the moon. “She just can’t wait to return home,” she said.

Ms Towey had been described as being “very relieved and anxious to get home”.

Charges of “attempted suicide” and alcohol abuse against Tori Towey were dropped by the Dubai authorities and a travel ban was lifted from her passport on Wednesday following intense diplomatic efforts.

Ms Towey and her mother may now board a flight home within the coming hours. They are expected to be back in Ireland this week. The Irish embassy in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will bring Ms Towey and her mother Caroline to the airport to get a flight home.

Her case has sparked international condemnation of the Dubai authorities.

Taoiseach Simon Harris first announced to the Dáil on Wednesday afternoon that the travel ban on Ms Towey’s passport had been lifted.

Ms Towey, originally from Boyle, Co Roscommon, moved to the UAE in April 2023 to begin work there as a flight attendant.

She married a man she met through work in March, and was hospitalised a short time later with extensive injuries after an alleged domestic violence incident.

Calling the treatment of the 28-year-old “utterly, utterly unacceptable”, Mr Harris said that he was using “mild language” in describing the situation.

“Tori has been through, in my view, the most horrific situation,” Mr Harris said outside Leinster House.

She “needs to be supported” and “brought back [..] to her home in Ireland,” he said. For Ms Towey to be facing criminal charges in Dubai for “attempted suicide” and alcohol consumption is unimaginable to most people, said Mr Harris.

“She is not a criminal,” Mr Harris had told the Dáil. “She is a victim of gender-based violence.”

Mary Lou McDonald, who first raised the case in the Dáil on Tuesday, echoed the Taoiseach’s words.

I hope that the authorities and the royalty of Dubai is listening very carefully to this message: This is not acceptable. Not acceptable on any level. Not acceptable for any woman.

“We are not objects. We are not chattel. We are not the possession of anybody and our human rights matter and our safety matters.”

Ms Towey was “very relieved and anxious to get home,” Sinn Féin TD for Roscommon Claire Kerrane, who has been in regular contact with Ms Towey since the news of her predicament broke, told the Irish Examiner.

She is also “overwhelmed by the support” she has received in trying to get home.

Ireland’s diplomatic efforts, engaging with the UAE on trying to broker peace in Gaza and on the wider Palestine issue helped smooth diplomatic channels to ensure that Ms Towey’s travel ban was lifted quickly and the charges against her were dropped, it is understood.

Her case has been described as complex legally by a source close to it.

The Irish Embassy in the UAE was instrumental in ensuring Ms Towey could be released and returned home.

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin said that work has been ongoing in relation to Ms Towey’s case for some time. 

Radha Stirling, chief executive at the human rights organisation Detained in Dubai, who has been helping the Toweys, praised the Irish government for the speed with which it responded to Ms Towey’s case.

“When a government gets behind their citizens, when they go the extra mile, they are successful in getting citizens home,” Ms Stirling told Newstalk.

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