Sunday, November 30, 2008

Illegal immigrant hired by garda

Lack of vetting for garda interpreters has resulted in an illegal Chinese immigrant being hired by the force and has prompted calls for an immediate overhaul of the current ad-hoc system.

At present, if a foreign national presents at a garda station and translation is necessary, officers either choose an interpretation agency from the Golden Pages or check the notice board for flyers offering interpretation services, often from unverified sources.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Foreign workers set to "suffer more" during recession

Exploitation of migrant workers is likely to rise, with employers desperate to make savings in the recession.

Discrimination of migrant workers in Ireland is now the second highest problem, according to the Equality Authority, with scores of cases being brought before the Equality Tribunal every year.

Mr David Joyce, equality officer of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, says that migrant workers may be entering a period of great risk in terms of discrimination in these tough economic times.

"There may be more acute challenges now that we're living in a recession. All of our previous experiences have come out of boom times, but we may now see other challenges."

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Child benefit payments halted for over 7,000 non-nationals

A major clampdown on child benefits has seen payments to more than 7,000 non-nationals cancelled.

In excess of half a billion euro has been given to non-Irish families in the past two years.

But the Department of Social and Family Affairs has undertaken a serious review in the past year to control against fraud and abuse of the scheme.

Around 70,000 letters have been issued from the department to non-Irish national since November last year.

Some 13,713 claimants did not reply within 21 days, and as a result 3,629 have had their claims terminated.

The Herald has learned that in excess of €4bn was paid out in child benefit between 2006 and 2007. Of that figure almost €600m was handed out to non-Irish nationals, some of whom do not even have children living here. One-in-seven recipients of child benefit was not born in Ireland.

Credit card fraudster got 19 free flights

A FATHER who travelled on a flight booked using a bogus name and credit card said he was hoping to move to Dublin to make a better life for himself.

Abdulakeen Yusuf (29) may have travelled up to 19 times by using a bogus name to book the flights, a court heard.

Yusuf admitted he obtained services by deception on four separate dates between October 2005 and January 2007.

Gardaí raid another Asian-run cannabis factory

GARDAÍ yesterday busted another Asian-run cannabis factory as part of an operation into organised crime involving a Dublin gang.

Following the seizure of €120,000 worth of cannabis plants at a remote house in Co Meath, gardaí are examining links between Chinese and Vietnamese criminals with a well-known north Dublin drug trafficking network.

This outfit is being targeted by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB), whose work led to the discovery of the factory yesterday.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Gardai uncover €2m fraud by asylum applicants

One Nigerian man and his wife had illegally claimed €33,000

A joint operation by gardai and the Department of Social and Family Affairs has uncovered social welfare fraud involving more than €2.2m in false claims by asylum seekers so far this year.

This brings the total value of savings from false benefit claims by asylum applicants to €14m since August 2004.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Irish share of migrant workers higher than all other EU states

IRELAND HAS received a far higher share of immigrants from countries that joined the EU in 2004 than any other EU state.

Some 5 per cent of the working-age population here originates in those countries, a report by the European Commission has found.

This was considerably more than in the UK, the second-largest receiving country in relative terms, where 1.2 per cent of the working-age population came from these 10 countries.

Migrant workers
Working-age migrants from the "EU 10" as a percentage of the total resident working-age population.
Ireland 5.0%
Luxembourg 0.5%
UK 1.2%
Belgium 0.1%
Sweden 0.1%
Italy 0.1%
Denmark 0.1%
Finland 0.1%
Germany 0.1%
Austria 0.4%

Source: Employment in Europe 2008, published by the European Commission. Figures are based on 2007 data.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

ECHR asks Government not to deport Nigerian woman

The European Court of Human Rights has formally asked the Government not to deport a Nigerian woman and her two young daughters to Nigeria until it has considered her arguments against the deportation orders, including that her two daughters face a real risk of female genital mutilation if returned.

The letter of request from the ECHR was issued yetserday shortly after of a High Court judge's rejection of Pamela Izevbekhai's application for an injunction restraining her family's deportation until the Irish courts have determined her judicial review challenge to the Minister for Justice's refusal last March to consider her claim for "subsidiary protection" here.

Zimbabwean chosen to run for Green Party

THE Green Party are looking to a Zimbabwean community representative to run for the organisation in south Dublin in next year's local elections.

Tendai Madondo moved to Ireland in 2002 with her husband Farai, who is a civil engineer with South Dublin County Council.

The Green Party has officially ratified Mrs Madondo to run as a candidate in Tallaght South in next year's local elections.

"Tallaght is a 'rainbow area' now," said Tendai Madondo. "There are families from all over the world who have come to live and work here."

But Ms Madondo said that she is not exclusively going to represent the 'new Irish' community.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Majority of illegals defying orders to leave

FEWER than one in five deportation orders signed by Justice Minister Dermot Ahern are put in effect, it emerged last night.

Official statistics confirm that a total of 495 deportation orders have been issued by Mr Ahern up to the end of last month.

But only 95 orders have been implemented successfully.

The number of orders signed has dropped from a high of 2,185 in 2005 but surpasses last year's total of 404.

Thousands of asylum applications withdrawn

JUST UNDER 6,000 applications for asylum have been withdrawn since changes were introduced in immigration law five years ago.

Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern said that 5,799 asylum applications had been withdrawn including 1,777 applications last year and a further 607 up to the end of October this year.

In the same five-year period, 8,486 deportation orders were issued and 2,118 implemented. The largest number of deportations occurred in the first two years of the new rules with 591 deported in 2003 and 599 the following year. To date this year 95 have been deported, including people whose asylum application failed. In the period from 2004 until this year a total of 1,019 people were moved to the country where they first entered the EU. He said "in the region of 400" applications for long-term residency were being "finalised" every month.

Romanian and Bulgarian work restrictions to stay

THE GOVERNMENT is expected to impose work restrictions for Eeropean Union citizens from Romania and Bulgaria for at least another three years due to rising unemployment levels in the State.

This is despite lobbying by the Romanian and Bulgarian governments, which say the move is discriminatory and treats them as second-class EU members.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

72 Asians charged over cannabis factories in north

More than 70 people from South East Asia have been charged in connection with a €18 million drug manufacturing operation in Northern Ireland, police revealed today.

A total of 103 separate cannabis factories have been uncovered by the Police Service of Northern Ireland so far this year, with around 27,000 plants and 410lb (186kg) of herbal cannabis seized.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Court refuses bail for alleged human trafficker

The High Court has refused to grant bail to a Romanian national wanted in Italy for human trafficking offences.

The Italian authorities are seeking the extradition of Mr Mircea Remus Contras with an address at North Great Georges Street, Dublin, on charges that in January of this year he was involved in the illegal organisation of trafficking people from the eastern European nation of Moldova to Ireland via Italy.

It is also alleged that Mr Contras (aged 41) has acted as a "consultant" in what is described as the the highly profitable, but low risk, criminal activity of illegally moving people from countries such as Russia, the Ukraine and Moldova into the European Union.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fine Gael selects Polish candidate

FINE GAEL has selected a Polish woman to contest the next local elections in a west Cork town — with the party confident there are sufficient fellow nationals alone to elect her.

There are more than 200 Polish people eligible to vote in the Clonakilty Town Council elections next June.

If Joanne Crowley gets their full support, she would have enough votes to exceed the quota.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

One in six on dole are foreigners

FOREIGN nationals account for one in six of the people signing on the dole.

Of the 251,951 people on the live register in October, 44,600, or 17.7%, were not originally from Ireland, according to figures from the Central Statistics Office.

The number of foreign nationals rose by 112% in the 12 months to October — only 21,035 were signing on last year. In one month the figure rose by 8.2%, according to the CSO.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Poles claim Irish dole from Poland

POLISH workers leaving for home are being given classes in how to keep milking Britain’s benefits system.

Now Polish jobs chiefs are even holding lessons on how to keep taking cash from the Government in the UK and in Ireland, where foreign workers are leaving in their droves.

Another job centre, in Rzeszow, south-east Poland, said it received more inquiries about unemployment benefits in one week than it had in the whole of the previous year as Poles return from Ireland, where work is in short supply.

They only need to prove that they have been employed there for 39 weeks to qualify for job seekers’ allowance.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Libertas seeks candidates for pan-European party

LIBERTAS WILL need to run a significant number of candidates in next year's European Parliament elections if it is to be an effective pan-European party, its founder Declan Ganley has said.

The leader of the anti-Lisbon Treaty group yesterday confirmed a report in Saturday's Irish Times that his organisation has registered as a European political party.

He also said that Libertas would need substantial resources to mount a campaign, adding that candidates would need to stand in at least seven or eight states to make the move worthwhile.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Pole gets extra three years in appeal court

A man who left a young journalist fighting for her life after he stabbed her through the neck during an attempted robbery has had his prison sentence increased from seven to ten years by the Court of Criminal Appeal.

Today the three judge CCA described the attack carried out in Dublin's Coombe area by Leszek Jarosz (aged 22), from Poland, on Mairéad O'Dwyer as "extraordinarily savage".

The DPP appealed that sentence on the grounds that it was unduly lenient.

Vote drive for ethnic minorities

TENS of thousands of asylum seekers, migrant workers and foreign students are being urged to register their vote for the forthcoming 2009 local elections.

The voter registration drive, which kicks off this week, is aiming to get more than 50,000 people on the electoral register before the deadline.