A FERMANAGH mum has spoken out about a “terrifying” police encounter and the judgement she and her family have faced after her son – who recently returned from holidaying abroad – tested positive for COVID-19.

On return from Ibiza last week, 19-year-old Aidan Gardener decided to take a Coronavirus test as a precautionary measure, although he wasn’t experiencing any symptoms of the virus.

His test results came back positive but, as per regulations, Aidan had been isolating from the moment that he arrived home, only leaving the house to take the test.

Rumours spread that the teenager had been seen out in a bar in Enniskillen on the night of Sunday, August 30, but speaking to The Impartial Reporter, Tara Flanagan, Aidan’s mum, confirmed that this was not true, stating that she was his “witness”.

Aidan was accused of having breached travel regulations, and at around 11.30pm on Monday, August 31, a PSNI officer visited the family’s home, dressed in a hazmat suit.

Tara said: “11.30pm on Monday evening, they [the PSNI] came banging at my door, and I was terrified.

“I’m 46 – I’ve lived in an era where people banging at your door at 11.30pm at night is not a good sign, and when I looked out the window all I could see – and the only way I can describe it – is [the PSNI officer] looked like a spaceman.

“There was no indication that he was a policeman. He was flapping something about at me, and then continued to hammer the door.

“I wouldn’t open the door because I didn’t know who it was. The police van was parked away up the side of the house, so I couldn’t even see that it was the police.

“I had no indication whatsoever, and it was terrifying,” Tara told this newspaper, adding: “Bearing in mind Aidan [tested] positive, he’s not displaying any [coronavirus] symptoms, but he has got Covid.

“The way they [the PSNI] handled it was disgusting. I feel as if we have been attacked for him having Covid.”

Calling the experience “traumatic”, Tara went on to say that although her son hadn’t broken any regulations, she feels that her family have been judged by some members of the community because he has the coronavirus.

She said: “It’s the social media aspect. People have been so condemning. I feel like we are being judged because Aidan has Covid.

“Is this how people are going to view people that have Covid? How many people have come back off holiday, haven’t been tested, haven’t gone into isolation?

“This is my whole point - there’s probably hundreds of people running around the country [who haven’t acted responsibly like Aidan].

“We feel like we’re being punished for doing the right thing,” she added, highlighting that her son had gone for the COVID-19 test on his own accord, and that it wasn’t mandatory.

“I never would have expected that from people in Enniskillen. Now, saying that, there have been a lot of people who have been really supportive of us.

“I know it’s not everyone who reacted negatively, but that element has left a really bad taste in my mouth. I was debating that I was going to come off Facebook altogether.

“I went on just to post up results so people would know I was [coronavirus] negative, on the basis that it would stop people talking any further, but other than that I haven’t looked at any posts, I’m too scared,” Tara told The Impartial Reporter.