Tori Towey: Irish woman charged with attempting suicide in Dubai after alleged attack

The Irish government is being urged to intervene in the case of a woman who has been charged with attempting suicide by a court in Dubai.

Tori Towey, from Boyle in County Roscommon, works in the United Arab Emirates as an airline cabin crew member and says she tried to take her own life after allegedly being attacked and left with severe bruising and other injuries.

The 28-year-old survived but was taken to a police station where she was told she was being charged with attempted suicide and abusing alcohol. Her passport was blocked from use, and she cannot return to Ireland.

"She's under incredible stress", said Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald in the Irish parliament today. "Tori is a Roscommon woman, and she wants to come home."

Ms McDonald urged the Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris to "urgently intervene" in the case and ensure that Ms Towey could return to Ireland.

Mr Harris told the Irish parliament that he was not fully appraised of the case, but would be happy to work with Ms McDonald and others "to intervene and see how we can support an Irish citizen in what sounds to be, based on what you tell me, the most appalling circumstances".

Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs told Sky News it is "aware of the case and is providing consular assistance".

It added: "As with all consular cases, the department does not comment on the details of individual cases."

Ms Towey is currently staying in a rented property in Dubai with her mother Caroline, who travelled to be with her daughter. The family are being assisted by the Detained In Dubai advocacy group.

"We are calling on Dubai authorities to urgently drop the charges against Tori, remove the travel ban and let her fly home to Ireland with her mother", said Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained In Dubai.

"She has been charged with attempted suicide and alcohol consumption", said Ms Stirling.

"Strangely, the UAE has gone to great public relations efforts to promote alcohol as legal in the country. In reality, people are still regularly charged with alcohol consumption and possession.

"Tori's experience is nothing short of tragic and quite frankly, she is lucky to be alive."

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'An awful situation'

Speaking to Sky News from her home in Co Roscommon, Ms Towey's aunt Ann Flynn said: "She's doing her best.

"It's very stressful, it's stressful for all the family."

Having just spoken to her sister Caroline, in Dubai, she added: "I think they're amazing, the way they've been able to hold it together, because I don't believe I could be as strong as they have been. The determination to come home, they both want to come home. It will be very tough."

She described her niece as "a beautiful young woman", who is "fun-loving and loved to travel".

Ms Flynn added: "She got the job of her dreams working for Emirates, and she could continue travelling with work."

"She loved Dubai, and had a good network of friends there.

"It's an awful situation for any young person to find themselves in. The only thing we want to do is get her home as soon as possible."

Ms Towey is now expecting her case to be heard in court on 18 July and has been warned she could face potential prison time in Dubai.

Sky News has contacted the Dubai Media Office and the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Dublin for comment.

Neither have currently offered a response.

Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK