Monday, December 29, 2008

Ethnic tensions alert as immigrants fight for jobs

A TOTAL of 100,000 non-nationals left Ireland this year -- three times the previous estimate, new government figures show.

But immigrant numbers remain at record levels and Integration Minister Conor Lenihan has warned of "tensions" between groups competing for jobs as unemployment soars.

Mr Lenihan says confidential research suggests that an army of 100,000 migrants have left Ireland in the last 12 months with the collapse of the Celtic Tiger. The number is three times the official estimate of the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) that 35,000 immigrants have left Ireland over the last year.

In a circular to TDs, Mr Lenihan said that nearly 140,000 fresh PPS numbers were issued to non-nationals in the first 10 months of the year now ending.

"Given these latter figures, the integration of immigrants remains a significant challenge," the minister warned.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Lithuanian charged with Nenagh murder

A 28-year-old man has appeared in court charged with murder following a fatal stabbing in Nenagh, Co Tipperary on St Stephen's Day.

Egidijus Kiaulakis, with an address in Nenagh, was charged with the murder of a 29-year-old man at Summerhill in Nenagh on 26 December.

The married, father of a six-month-old baby, appeared at a special sitting of Nenagh District Court this morning.

Both Mr Kiaulakis and the victim are originally from Lithuania.

Moroccan charged over Limerick stabbing

A 21-year-old man has been charged with the murder of a teenager at a refugee centre in Limerick.

Farah Redouane, a Moroccan national with an address at the Sarsfield Inn Hostel in Limerick, was charged with the murder of 17-year-old Somali national Ali Ibraham Lal.

The court was told the accused was an asylum applicant. He was granted free legal aid.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Four in every five asylum seekers caught out by 'language police'

FOUR out of five asylum seekers have been caught making false claims by 'language detectives' who can tell where they really come from, the Irish Independent has learned.

The language analysis tests are being used because of "ongoing evidence" of efforts to undermine the State's asylum system, according to the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner (ORAC).

In some cases, asylum seekers from a "safe state" are claiming to be from another country which is generally regarded as having serious human rights issues.

Some 140 applicants have now undergone the tests in order to verify their ethnic origin. Only one out of every five applicants tested are from where they claim.

Romanian cheque scam costs finance company €5k

A FINANCIAL service company lost €5,000 in a week to a scam operated by Romanian nationals passing cancelled Revenue cheques.

The firm has said apparently genuine cheques it has cashed for customers have been declared invalid by the Revenue Commissioners.

It has not yet been established why they were cancelled, but the cheque cashing company has been inundated by highly convincing forgeries.

Chequers 4 Cash has said the problem of invalid and forged cheques is costing it tens of thousands of euro a year.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Over €6.5m paid in just five years of deportations

The Department of Justice spent over €150,000 chartering a flight for a sole Ghanian failed asylum seeker earlier this year, the Sunday Tribune has learned.

Four years earlier, the department spent over €50,000 deporting a lone Gambian asylum seeker. The cost of flying one Romanian home came to just €1,000 in the same year. In total, the justice department has spent almost €6.5m deporting 1,493 failed asylum seekers over the past five years.

Fine Gael's Immigration and Integration spokesman, Denis Naughten, said deporting individual asylum seekers home at such high costs was "unjustifiable".

This year, €727,197 was spent deporting 95 asylum seekers.

Deported Nigerian conman sets up political party

A Nigerian conman who was deported from Ireland has set up a political party in Britain, and plans to field candidates in next year’s European elections.

Andre John-Salakov has registered the PLC Party with an address in Rotterdam. According to Britain’s electoral commission, Salakov plans to run candidates for election in England, Scotland and Wales, as well as in the European elections. Salakov is listed as party leader, nominating officer and campaigns officer, while the treasurer is his partner, Wendy Wong. On the party website, Salakov says that the PLC Party is ’‘for the Family, for a Tolerant Society, for Law Reform, for Stronger Europe, and for British globally’’.

Salakov had a long record of clashes with the law in England before coming to Dublin and setting up a ‘Public Law Centre’. In 1999, Southwark Crown Court in London jailed him for 30 months on 19 counts of fraud and posing as a barrister. He had tried to persuade the National Lottery to give him £10.6 million to set up a legal advice service.

Major concerns raised over asylum seekers leaving infants alone

The fears are outlined in a series of inspection reports into reception centres, operated on behalf of the Department of Justice by private contractors.

The reports show that the practice of leaving children, some of whom are just a few months old, alone in their room is widespread at the asylum-seeker complexes.

The inspections, copies of which have been released under the Freedom of Information Act to the Sunday Tribune, are carried out routinely to ensure the standard of lodgings is up to scratch.

However, while strict rules exist for the proprietors of the premises on fire safety, food safety and the standard of bedrooms, other rules regarding behaviour of residents are proving far more difficult to enforce.

Foreign workers desert Ireland as work permits plummet

THOUSANDS of foreign workers are deserting Ireland as the number of employment visas being issued has plummeted, figures from the Department of Enterprise show.

Just 12,733 work permits have been issued this year, little more than half of the 2007 rate of 23,536.

In the average year, around two-thirds of foreign workers seek a renewal of their visa so that they can stay on in Ireland for another year.

This year however, only a third have applied for an extension after either losing their job or deciding to return to their home country.

The Department of Enterprise said: "A total of 12,733 employment permits have been issued up to 21 November 2008; 7,902 of these are new and 4,831 are renewals."

Almost a quarter of all the work visas issued this year were to Indian nationals, many of whom have gone to work in the computer industry.

A further 2,085 permits and renewals were given to Filipinos, the majority of whom work in the healthcare industry.

A total of 804 permits were issued to people from the US, a sharp decline according to figures for previous years.

A significant number of visas and renewals have also been issued to workers from South Africa, China, Brazil and Malaysia.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Chinese national jailed for stabbing Garda

A CHINESE member of "a gang of bandits" has been jailed for eight years for stabbing a garda during an armed robbery at a suburban house.

Zheng Xu (31), of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to seriously wounding Garda David Comer on July 13, 2005.

Xu and three other masked raiders held the occupants of a house in Main Street, Raheny, Dublin, at knifepoint, demanding their mobile phones and bank card PIN numbers.

Two co-accused, Xiang Cheng (25) and Qian Cheng, aka Jian Gong Ten (28), had been each jailed for seven years in July for assaulting Gda James Hendrick, aggravated burglary and the false imprisonment of three other Chinese people the same night.

Prison report shows inmate costs, note number of non-nationals in prison

THE COST of keeping an offender at the country's most secure jail in Portlaoise costs almost €270,000 per year, a new report shows.

The Irish Prison Service annual report shows that the average cost of an inmate per year is about €97,700. However, Portlaoise is easily the most expensive, followed by Shelton Abbey (€107,800 a year) and St Patrick's Institution (€106,800). The least expensive is Loughan House (€82,200), a low-security facility in Co Cavan.

The report also shows that almost a third of the 9,711 people sent to jail last year were foreign nationals.

Among these non-Irish nationals were UK nationals (2 per cent), other EU citizens (8 per cent), other Europeans (6 per cent) and African nationals (6 per cent).

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Calls for tough measures to combat racism

The legal system needs to be overhauled so that it can effectively deal with racially motivated crime, according to a new report.

The "Combating Racism and Xenophobia through the Criminal Law" report also calls on judges to impose tougher sentences on those who commit racist crimes.

The study's authors, Jennifer Schweppe and Dermot Walsh of the Centre for Criminal Justice, University of Limerick, said that current law is not wholly suitable for dealing with racism.

The report said the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989 should be updated to include racism on the internet. It also called for Public Order and Offences against the Person Acts to be used as a means of prosecuting racist incidents.

Nigerian lawyer’s trafficking sentence appeal dismissed

THE Court of Criminal Appeal has dismissed an appeal by a Nigerian lawyer against his four-year sentence for trafficking illegal immigrants into Ireland.

Olaitan Ilori, aged 40, a father of four, of Oak Drive, Blessington, Co Wicklow was convicted in July 2007 on 12 counts of organising or knowingly facilitating the entry into the state on October 27, 2004 of 12 adult Mauritian nationals whom he knew, or had reasonable cause to believe, were illegal immigrants.

The court had previously rejected Ilori’s appeal against conviction.

Director of racism body criticises its closure at time of increased hostility

THE GOVERNMENT advisory body on racism is being disbanded at the time when racist incidents are on the increase and attitudes are hardening as a result of the recession, its director said yesterday.

Philip Watt of the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism (NCCRI) said that reported incidents of racism had increased from 66 in 2004 to almost 200 so far this year.

"There has been quite a significant increase in the numbers reported to the gardaĆ­," said Mr Watt.

Asylum seeking prostitute faces 2nd deportation

A NIGERIAN asylum seeker who admitted to a prostitution charge is facing deportation for the second time.

Ese Imaugen (25) was arrested with a client in Monaghan and is now set to be deported, despite claims that she is a victim of human trafficking.

Imaugen will now reapply to the Department of Justice for asylum seeker status.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

No2Lisbon re-vote appeal to Mary McAleese President of Ireland

The Irish people were the only European nation given the opportunity to vote on the Lisbon treaty. The people spoke a resounding NO.
The Lisbon Treaty is a re-worded re-structured version of the EU Constitution which was rejected in both France and the Netherlands by democratic vote of the people. Please note the Irish people were the only country to hold a referendum on this highly influential document due to a technicality: Ireland is the only country in Europe which states the need for a referendum in the Constitution. So had this not been so are we to assume they would have brought this controversial legislation into affect anyway? Is there a reason for this?

• The Lisbon treaty is an incomprehensible constitution and as such can only be signed by most in blind faith.
Even Irelands EU commissioner Charlie Mc Creevey and Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Brian Cowen had both
admitted to having not read the treaty and at the same time were lobbying the Irish people for a Yes vote!
•As a constitution it results in the loss of National Sovereignty for all 27 EU Countries!
•It is influenced and implemented using a profoundly undemocratic process and it lays the foundation for an undemocratic federal state.
•Appoints an unelected commission at the top of the decision making hierarchy.
•Favours Big Business over the Individual citizen.
•For Ireland and many of her European brothers it would mean the loss of permanent representation in the EU Commission.

Essentially what this means is a small group of politicians will be appointed (not elected) as the governing body of Europe with the power to change economic and political policy. These changes would have a profound impact on how we live our lives.

With all this in mind you can see why Ireland voted No.

Now there are talks of plans to hold another referendum on the Lisbon treaty. This is completely undemocratic and an insult to European Citizens. Our society is based on democracy ‘For the People By the People’ and to ask for another referendum is un-democratic and further validates the points made earlier.

There are those who want this treaty passed but is it for the right reasons? Do they have our best interest at heart? Can we afford to wait and find out? As a pre-emptive move I ask that you sign this petition which will be presented to President of Ireland: Mary McAleese in the event of another referendum being held.

Thankyou for taking the time to read this statement.

Please sign the petition !

Judge bans immigrant girl from Dublin city centre

A Judge today banned a 12-year-old girl, who is facing 19 charges mostly for thefts, from Dublin city-centre and expressed concerns on the level of parental supervision being exercised.

“She has picked up a lot of charges for a girl her age, I am not sure proper parental control has been exercised,” Judge Bryan Smyth said at the Children’s Court, in response to an application by the defence for the girl to be released from custody.

The small girl, who is about five foot tall and originally from Romania, but now residing with her mother in west Dublin, was remanded in custody to Oberstown Girls’ Centre, last week for preliminary psychological and psychiatric assessments to be carried out.

Immigrant jailed for sex act on bus with boy (15)

A Pakistani man who asked a 15-year-old boy to perform a sex act while they travelled on a city bus has been jailed for a year and ordered to leave Ireland within 24 hours of his release.

Jawad Khan (30), of Howth Road, Sutton, Dublin, appealed to the court for an order not to name him in the media because it would get back to his Muslim family in Pakistan and they would be thrown out of their village.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Deportation of 56 illegal immigrants costs €150k

ALMOST 60 illegal immigrants were deported last night at a cost of more than €150,000 to the Irish taxpayer.

The Nigerian deportees included two criminals who were convicted of serious crimes while in Ireland.

The rapist and drug dealer were flown from Dublin to Lagos, in what was the biggest deportation flight organised by immigration authorities here.

Some 16 children and a group of illegal immigrants who were seeking residence in Britain were also among the group.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

'Deal is already done' on Lisbon rerun

A FORMER senior MEP claimed last night that a rerun of the Lisbon Treaty vote was "a done deal" between Ireland and European Union leaders.

Danish veteran Jens Peter Bonde added that the deal means a new vote will contain declarations with lots of "nice words" that wouldn't actually change "one single paragraph" in the Lisbon Treaty text.

Mr Bonde, a noted Eurosceptic and an opponent of the Maastricht and Lisbon treaties, added: "I know that the French president has told European group leaders in the European Parliament, in
confidentiality, that there is a deal now with the Irish government and the French presidency on the . . . rerun."

Sunday, December 7, 2008

72,000 Irish passports issued around the world

Of the 4,041 passports issued to South Africans last year, many did not involve the descendants of Irish emigrants. One senior garda said: "These would be people who might have applied for asylum, had married an Irish citizen or otherwise sought naturalisation at some point."

Asylum seekers from a number of other African countries also successfully applied for Irish passports, the Department of Foreign Affairs said. A total of 271 people born in Nigeria qualified for citizenship last year in spite of the low rate of success in applying for refugee status by individuals from that country. Around 700 people from India and Pakistan were also granted Irish passports along with 72 from the DR Congo, 130 from Egypt, 171 from Kenya and 189 from Israel.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ungrateful migrants complain that their qualifications are meaningless

Migrant workers believe their qualifications are meaningless in Ireland, according a new report on the education needs of migrants.

The report found that potential students face barriers including language difficulties, lack of information on college courses and expensive fees.

The research was funded under the Government's Strategic Innovation Fund.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Somalian refugee brings in €6,000 worth of Khat

Mohamed Ibrahim (26) of James' Street, Dublin 8 was returning from England on a garda immigration pass when found to have the drug on November 30, 2006 at Dublin Airport.

"I've serious reservations that he was just distributing €6,000 of this for gratis," Judge O'Donnell noted.

Nine brothels raided in human trafficking operation

An organised crime gang that has been trafficking women into Ireland to work as prostitutes has been "disrupted and dismantled" after a series of raids across the State and simultaneous searches at locations in Northern Ireland and Wales.

Nine brothels were searched in Cavan, Drogheda, Athlone, Mullingar, Sligo, Kilkenny, Enniscorthy, Newbridge, and Waterford, along with six other locations in Carlow.

Authorities in the North, where the operation started several months ago, said at least seven women have been rescued from prostitution in that time. They are understood to come from Brazil, Nigeria and Namibia.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Significant increase in immigrants applying for voluntary repatriation

THERE HAS been a significant rise this year in the number of immigrants applying for voluntary repatriation through the International Organisation for Migration.

The scheme, which is funded in Dublin by the Department of Justice and the EU, offers asylum seekers and undocumented migrants a flight to their country of origin and "re-integration assistance" to the value of €600 for each person or up to €1,200 a family.

Although annual figures will not be available until next month, Doug Cubie, senior programme co- ordinator at the organisation, said there had been a significant rise in the number of applicants this year.

People from 30 countries have availed of the scheme so far this year, headed by Brazilians who accounted for 40 per cent last year. Georgians and Moldovans were also well represented.

Last year, over 250 immigrants availed of the programme.