Tori Towey hopes to return to Ireland on Thursday after Dubai charges dropped – The Irish Times

Irishwoman Tori Towey was hoping to return to Ireland on Thursday after Dubai prosecutors dropped charges against her.

The 28-year-old woman from Roscommon was charged with attempted suicide and unlawful consumption of alcohol in the United Arab Emirates city, after suffering sustained domestic violence and abuse since marrying her husband in March, the Dáil heard this week.

Ms Towey, who has lived and worked in Dubai for more than a year as a flight attendant for Emirates Airlines, was “over the moon” after the charges were dropped and the travel ban lifted, according to Radha Stirling, chief executive of the support group Detained in Dubai.

Ms Towey is understood to have been awaiting instructions from the embassy late on Wednesday evening about her return to Ireland, although her family did not expect her to be able to leave until Thursday at the earliest.

After the charges were dropped, Taoiseach Simon Harris described Ms Towey’s case as a “horrible nightmare scenario that no Irish citizen should ever have to experience”.

“I am extremely frustrated that an Irish citizen finds himself in this situation.

“In this country we talk about zero tolerance towards any kind of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence and I want to make it clear to countries around the world that we extend that zero tolerance to any of our citizens no matter where they are in the world,” she told RTÉ’s Six One News on Wednesday evening.

A statement from the Dubai government said it had “closed the case involving Irish national Tori Towey after she and her husband, a South African national, were involved in a case involving mutual assault charges, dating back to May 2024.

“The couple reached a reconciliation and withdrew the complaints filed against each other.

“The Dubai Public Prosecution also dropped the attempted suicide charges against her considering the circumstances of the case and to allow her to return to her normal life,” the statement said.

After Ms Towey’s travel ban was lifted, Mr Harris told MPs the UAE embassy would take her to the airport “as soon as she is ready to leave”.

Mr Harris thanked the embassy and said Ireland’s ambassador to the UAE, Alison Milton, “has been in very frequent and intensive contact with the Foreign Office” about Ms Towey’s situation.

The Taoiseach stressed that Ms Towey “does not need to go home after a court case because she is not a criminal”.

Tánaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Micheál Martin anticipated that Ms Towey and her mother, Caroline, would return to Ireland as soon as possible after the travel ban was lifted, saying it had been “traumatic” for her.

The two had been staying at an Airbnb after Caroline flew out to support her daughter, according to Stirling, who praised the speed with which the government intervened.

“She’s exhausted and she feels very overwhelmed. But at the same time, we’re very, very touched by all the support she’s been receiving. I don’t think she expected all of that.”

“I don’t think she expected the Irish government to move so quickly. And I’ve never seen a government move so quickly. So I’m very impressed by Ireland’s response,” she said.

Meanwhile, Ms Towey’s aunt Ann Flynn said the family had been “very anxious” because the charges against her niece were “hard to believe”.

“It’s really terrible that this has happened to a young woman, who was full of life and adventure,” she told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland.

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