Thursday, July 31, 2008

Pole jailed for sex attack

A Polish national who sexually assaulted a Galway woman last year has been given a 30 months sentence by Mr Justice John Edwards at the Central Criminal Court.

Tomasz Wojtaniec (46) with an address at The Mayfly Inn, Oughterard, County Galway, was convicted by a jury earlier this month of sexually assaulting the woman as she walked home from a pub on May 9 2007.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Dramatic drop in deportations due to 'softer' approach

THE number of would-be refugees being deported has dramatically fallen even though more than 6,000 failed asylum- seekers are classified as "evading deportation".

Immigration sources said it appeared a much softer approach was now being taken when it came to enforcing deportation orders, with only 43 people returned to their home in the first five months of the year.

The numbers have shown a six-fold decline compared to 2004, when 599 people were deported. This year, the number is not expected to exceed 100, the lowest since large numbers of asylum-seekers began arriving in the state around a decade ago.

In the past five and a half years, successive ministers have signed a total of 8,196 deportation orders, the Department of Justice said. Only 25% of them have been implemented with 2,066 people sent home, some on specially chartered aircraft and others on scheduled flights.

So-called "mass deportations" also appear to have been phased out with only eight asylum-seekers deported. The departmental figures also reveal that since the beginning of 2003, a massive 6,173 people have either vanished or failed to appear for deportation.

Dublin gets a new mosque

AN BORD Pleanála has granted permission for the conversion of the three upper floors of two buildings on Talbot Street, in Dublin city centre, into a mosque, despite objections from local businesses to the development.

The Anwar-E-Madina mosque is the first inner-city mosque and the first to be located on Dublin's northside, according to worshippers. It opened last Thursday, after receipt of permission from the planning board, but it will not be permitted to broadcast prayers.

Dublin City Council had granted permission for the mosque last December. However, the decision was appealed to An Bord Pleanála by neighbouring business people who said the area, a busy commercial street, was not suitable for a mosque.