Thursday, January 29, 2009

Nigerian gets 22 years for rape and murder

A judge at Belfast Crown Court has told a man found guilty of the rape and murder of a mother-of-one, that he must serve at least 22 years before being considered for release.

Kristoff Emmanuel Alauya met 38-year-old Grace Moore at a Belfast nightclub in November 2006.

He accompanied her home and it was there that he raped and murdered her.

Ms Moore's teenage daughter discovered her body on the kitchen floor.

Sentencing him to at least 22 years, Mr Justice Weir said he found it 'impossible to comprehend' that after raping and killing the mother of one, Alauya ransacked her home, stealing various items including jewellery and perfume.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Failed asylum seeker to appeal yet again

A Sligo-based woman who lost a challenge to her deportation this morning has indicated her intention to appeal her case to the Supreme Court.

Pamela Izevbekhai claimed her two young daughters, Naomi (7) and Jemima (6), would be at risk of serious harm due to female genital mutilation if returned to Nigeria.

Speaking after the judgement was delivered at the High Court this morning, Ms Izevbekhai said she was 'disappointed' but said the judgement wasn't unexpected.

Ms Izevbekhai said she will now appeal the case to the Supreme Court.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Immigrants join in the political jousting

Main parties field migrant candidates;

With June’s local elections drawing closer, political parties are showing more interest than ever in harnessing immigrants’ potential, as both candidates and voters. Between them, four parties – Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Labour and the Greens – have already selected 16 immigrants to stand, while, less conspicuously, the battle for a share of foreign nationals’ votes is being fought with the aid of Polish websites, multilingual leaflets and full-time migrant organisers.

Whatever higher motives the parties may claim, the numbers show that being alive to the immigrant vote also makes strategic sense.

The flow of new arrivals may have slowed, but there remain hundreds of thousands of settled immigrants with a right to vote in local polls.

Some of the liveliest contests will be fought in areas with large concentrations of newcomers.

In Mulhuddart in north Dublin, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have each selected a Nigerian candidate in a constituency where another compatriot of theirs intends to stand as an Independent.

Adeola Ogunsina, a petrol station manager in Mulhuddart who joined Fine Gael four years ago, says he was drawn to the party’s support of enterprise and small businesses. And like many other immigrant candidates, he got involved through contact with other members, in his case the local TD Leo Varadkar.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Woman who said she was sex traffic victim jailed

Edith Orumwenes, also variously known as Edith Jonho and Joy Jolly, pleaded guilty at Ballinrobe District Court (sitting in Castlebar) to failing to provide travel documents when stopped by a detective garda in Castlebar on November 12th.

The woman, who initially gave her name as Edith Jonho, claimed she had left home to avoid a forced marriage and had been coerced into coming to Ireland under the false pretence that she would be given a job here.

Before sentencing the woman to four months in prison, Judge Mary Devins noted that she had done very little to help herself.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Crackdown on pikey criminals

GARDAI seized a large haul of stolen property and over €10,000 in cash in raids on halting sites yesterday.

The operation was aimed at Traveller gangs involved in feuding in the Waterford area. The feud has resulted in more than 120 criminal incidents in the past seven months, say gardai.

Guantanamo prisoners may be allowed to live here

IRELAND may take in prisoners from Guantanamo Bay if it gets EU backing for the move, Justice Minister Dermot Ahern said yesterday.

New US President Barack Obama, who has previously called for the Cuban detention camp to be shut down, yesterday ordered military trials to be stopped.

Mr Ahern said the Government may be willing to resettle some of the remaining 245 Guantanamo detainees in Ireland.

Nigerian charged with trafficking child

A Nigerian man has been charged with trafficking a "lookalike" child into Ireland on his own son's passport.

Kolawoke Adigun (44) was allegedly offered £2,850 (€3,054) in the form of repairs to his car by a man he knew in London to bring the child into the country.

Detective Garda Angela Twyford from the National Garda Immigration Bureau (NGIB) told Blanchardstown District Court that Adigun arrived at Dublin Airport on November 11 last with a boy (12), who he falsely presented as his son.

The young boy is now under the care of the HSE and is living with his step-mother in north Co Dublin. Adigun, with an address at Watergate House, Rectory Place, Greenwich, is charged with knowingly bringing into Ireland a person he knew or believed to be an illegal immigrant, contrary to Section 2 of the Illegal Immigrant (Trafficking) Act 2000.

He is also charged with possession of a false Nigerian passport.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Israel a terror state and envoy should be expelled, says FF TD

FIANNA FÁIL TD Chris Andrews has described Israel as a "terror state".

Speaking at the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs committee yesterday, which focused on the situation in Gaza, Mr Andrews said Israel had the right to defend itself but its approach was disproportionate.

"Israel has descended to such levels of brutality that it can only now be classified as a terror state," he said. "Israel appears to be uncontrollable. Israel is acting as a rogue state."

Mr Andrews said Irish supermarkets and shops should not stock what he described as "settler produce".

He called for an economic, diplomatic and political boycott of Israel, "until they realise that their actions do have consequences".

Mr Andrews has previously called for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador to Ireland.

At yesterday's meeting he said: "My views on recalling, expelling the ambassador I still stand over."

Monday, January 19, 2009

Lithuanians jailed for car hijack

Two Lithuanian men have been jailed for four years for hijacking a car from a fellow national in Skerries.

Garda Audrey Garvey told prosecution counsel, Mr Shane Costelloe BL, that the car owner met the group after they contacted him about viewing his vehicle which was advertised for sale in a Lithuanian newspaper.

Gda Garvey said Kadzevicius arranged to go on a test drive with the seller but pulled the vehicle over some time later and rang someone on his mobile phone.

She said Dockevicius and Bardauskas then pulled up in second car, jumped out and pointed a sawn-off shotgun at the seller before threatening him, stealing his wallet, mobile phone and watch, and taking the car.

Judge Patrick McCartan told the three that they had "forfeited their right to hospitality" in Ireland.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Fears of anti-Polish feeling after Dell move

FEARS of a Dell backlash against Polish people living in Limerick were voiced yesterday.

The chairman of the Irish Polish Cultural and Business Association, Pat O’Sullivan, said: “Polish people were not responsible for the decision. Nobody is throwing stones, but that unease is there now. We are concerned about the negative impact of the decision on the Polish community from fellow workers and Limerick people in general."

“The majority of Polish people here do not intend to return to their native country due to a number of factors, including the unemployment in parts of Poland. And social services here are more robust than in Poland, ” he said

Asylum seekers with cars denied Christmas bonus

ASYLUM seekers in the north-east who own a registered car and do not have children did not receive a Christmas bonus payment from community welfare officers, it has emerged.

A senior community welfare officer confirmed that a decision taken regionally meant that the discretionary payment was not paid to car-owning asylum seekers living in accommodation centres in counties Sligo, Donegal and Leitrim.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Migrants made 920,000 PPS number applications

Foreign nationals made 920,000 applications for PPS numbers made between 2002 and 2007, according to figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The figures also show that over 390,000 were from Poland and the UK, with Polish nationals making approximately 270,000 applications and those from the UK 120,000.

The figures coincided with news that Dell is moving 1,900 manufacturing jobs from Limerick to Poland due to higher costs in Ireland, raising the possibility that immigration could become an issue in forthcoming local and European elections, elections in which foreign nationals (from the EU) will be entitled to vote.

The CSO estimates that of the non-nationals who found employment during the period, some 423,000 remained in their jobs at the end of 2007.

Immigrants on the dole

The numbers claiming either jobseeker's allowance or jobseeker's benefit has climbed by an incredible 55% in just 12 months, according to the Department of Social Welfare.

However, the number of non-Irish nationals claiming these benefits has tripled. In December 2007, there were 8,389 'non-Irish' on job-seeker's benefit – but by last month that had soared to 25,000.

The number in receipt of jobseeker's allowance amongst the immigrant community has also climbed ­ ­ – by 44% – from 13,190 a year ago to 19,000 at the end of 2008.

This rise was significantly higher than the 27% increase seen amongst welfare recipients born in Ireland.

Around one in six (17%) people now claiming the dole in Ireland is classified as non-Irish while the non-national population con­stitutes 13.5% of the total.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Leaders of trafficking gang face 15 years in prison

THE alleged leaders of a gypsy crime gang accused of trafficking more than 100 people into Ireland for labour exploitation are facing trial in their native Romania.

The four accused face jail sentences of up to 15 years if they are found guilty.

Their arrests followed a joint operation, codenamed Sibling, involving Romanian police and gardai in July last year.

The prosecution allege that the gang netted more than €100,000 from taking a slice of the workers' pay over the previous two years.

Friday, January 9, 2009

FÁS predicts unemployment rate of 12% this year

The State training agency FÁS says it expects Ireland's unemployment rate to exceed 12% this year.

The total number of people on the Live Register increased by 71% last year to 293,500.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Migrant numbers down but still high

The CSO report shows that 215,300 PPSNs were allocated to foreign nationals in 2007, down from 226,800 in 2006. This was mainly due to a drop of more than 25,000 in the number given to people from the 10 countries which joined the EU in 2004.

These still accounted for just over half of the total for 2007, however, with the number of arrivals from Poland the highest at 79,700. The UK was next, followed by Romania and Lithuania.

Immigrant facing fraud charges

AN ALLEGED forger is facing a series of fraud charges after a court heard he was found with cloned credit cards and counterfeiting equipment.

Florin Nita (33) is accused of creating forgeries and possession of a range of bogus documents in two garda raids on his addresses.

It is alleged that the accused had attempted to steal €4,245 by lodging a stolen cheque.

He is accused of making a false Italian driving licence and a false social welfare PPS form, possession of a fake Spanish passport, and computer equipment adapted for use in the course of an offence.

It is alleged he had a stolen blank Eagle Star insurance certificate, three cloned bank cards, a scanner, paper, and implements which had been adapted for making counterfeit documents.

Monday, January 5, 2009

More judges to process asylum seekers' cases

EXTRA judges will be involved in a major push to clear a huge backlog of cases dealing with asylum seekers and other immigrants seeking residency.

From next week, five High Court judges will be dedicated full time to hearing the cases -- compared to one lone judge who has been handling the heavy workload.

Currently, there is a backlog of 780 cases waiting to be heard, with an extra 17 cases joining the case list each week.

70% of asylum seekers already have UK history

SEVEN out of 10 applicants for asylum here already have an immigration history in the UK. Unpublished end-of-year statistics also revealed that 1,000 bogus asylum seekers have left the State in the past year.

The end-of-year total represents a 23pc increase on the corresponding figure for 2007.

A breakdown of the statistics into categories of asylum applicants shows that :

- 491 of them were children between the ages of three months and three years and many of those claims were not lodged until the parents' applications had been turned down and they were facing deportation.

- 250 applications were lodged from behind prison bars.

- More than 250 applicants were found, through the Eurodac fingerprint database, to have already made claims in another EU country.

- Over 600 made asylum claims after they had already been in the State for more than six months.

- 70pc of all asylum applicants had an immigration history in the UK and this amounted to 600 people in 2008.

Asylum applications down 3%

The number of people seeking asylum has dropped to its lowest level since the mid-nineties, the Government said today.

Applications were down a further 3% last year to 3,866, continuing a sliding trend since a peak of 11,634 refugee applications in 2002.Justice Minister Dermot Ahern said a review of the asylum process to cut out abuse of the system was behind the decrease.

“I welcome the fact that the annual trend in asylum applications continues to fall, which I believe is a reflection of the ongoing implementation of strategies aimed at combating abuse of the asylum process and the streamlining of its procedures,” he said.

The top five countries where applicants came from were Nigeria (26.1%), Pakistan (6.1%), Iraq (5.3%), Georgia (4.7%) and China (4.7%).

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Ireland an easy target for immigrant fraud

Illegal immigrants regard Ireland as a ‘‘highly attractive’’ destination because of the ease with which they can fraudulently access the welfare, health and education systems, according to a confidential Garda briefing to European police. In a report to the crime threat assessment unit of Europol, gardaí said significant numbers of people attempting to enter Ireland were members of Nigerian organised crime groups.

Friday, January 2, 2009

'No Irish need apply' - Polish builders get their own back

'NO Irish need apply' - the signs are already going up on building sites abroad in a throwback to the grim days of the the last century.

But this time they are starting to appear in Poland as that country takes its revenge for the way in which some unscrupulous Irish contractors treated their countrymen during the years of the Celtic Tiger.

Trade union official Michael Kilcoyne - also president of the Consumers Association of Ireland - said it had recently been brought to his attention that the 'No Irish' signs had appeared on a couple of Polish building sites where workers were being sought.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Most drug mules caught at airport are foreign nationals.

THE number of so-called drug mules being caught trying to ferry illegal substances through Dublin airport has soared in the past year, figures reveal.

A total of 51 people were caught attempting to smuggle a variety of drugs into Ireland via the country’s largest airport, including eight people who had swallowed quantities of cocaine pellets.

In 2007 the number of drug mules intercepted by customs officials at the airport stood at 33. That figure increased to 51 last year, most of whom were foreign nationals travelling into Ireland from South Africa or South America, via another airport in Europe.