Friday, August 28, 2009

Time period for immigrants to find work extended

THE PERIOD of time allowed to migrant workers to find new employment after they have been made redundant has been extended by Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern.

Certain migrant workers who have lived in the State for under five years and possess a valid work permit are to be given six months to find a new job if they are made redundant, under the new regulations announced yesterday.

Previously, migrant workers from outside the European Economic Area who were made redundant had only three months to find alternative employment or leave the country. The EEA comprises the EU, Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Switzerland. Non-EEA permit holders comprise 1.5 per cent of the labour force or some 30,000 people.

Mr Ahern said the decision was about protecting jobs and giving migrant workers who had abided by employment laws a chance to stay in the country.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Refugee accommodation centres make €1.5m profit

ONE of the country's leading providers of asylum seeker and refugee accommodation more than doubled its operating profits to €1.5m last year.

Newly filed accounts for Bridgestock Ltd show the operating profit to June 2008 was more than double the €619,000 made the previous year.

Jointly operated by Seamus and Kathleen Gillen, the company operates eight accommodation centres across the country.

State faces €500m bill as welfare rents soar

THE number of people needing help from the State to pay their rent has risen by more than 50pc in just over 18 months.

Now the Department of Social and Family Affairs expects to pay out almost half a billion euro this year to subsidise rent payments.

There are more than 91,000 people in receipt of Rent Supplement, an increase of 53pc since December 2007, new figures reveal.

The benefit is paid to people living in private rented accommodation who cannot provide for the cost of their accommodation from their own resources.

In general, people qualify for the payment if their only income is a social welfare or Health Services Executive (HSE) payment.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Two Lithuanians charged over cigarette smuggling

Customs officers at Dublin airport yesterday seized cigarettes valued at €12,800 during a search of baggage.

Customs officers discovered 32,000 "L & M" brand cigarettes, representing a potential exchequer loss of €10,500.

Two Lithuanian nationals with addresses in Kaunas were arrested during a Customs operation targeting cigarette smuggling from the Baltic region.

33 children missing from state care

A TOTAL of 33 children have gone missing from state care since January, with 29 of them still unaccounted for.

The children, who came to Ireland from other countries unaccompanied by their parents, were in the care of the HSE at the time of their disappearance.

New figures, confirmed by the HSE, show that a total of 310 children who have disappeared from HSE hostel-style accommodation over the last seven years remain unaccounted for.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sinn Féin backs No vote to Lisbon

Sinn Féin tonight officially backed a No vote in the second Lisbon Treaty referendum.

At a meeting of the party’s ard chomhairle president Gerry Adams said it would be formally launching its campaign against the controversial treaty this week.

“This was a bad treaty when last it was presented,” Mr Adams said.

“The people said no. Exactly the same treaty is being presented once again.”

Friday, August 7, 2009

Unemployment now at 12.2%

A further 10,500 people signed on to the Live Register in July bringing the standardised unemployment rate to 12.2 per cent, according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The unemployment rate is now at its highest since April 1995 and up from just 6.4 per cent a year ago.

Some Romanians who fled attacks return to North

MORE THAN 10 of the 114 members of the Roma community who fled Northern Ireland after a number of racist attacks on them in south Belfast in June have returned to the North, with more due to follow in the coming weeks, writes Gerry Moriarty.

The Roma plan to again take up such work as selling newspapers and washing cars. Their families are expected to join them before the beginning of the school term in September so their children can continue to be educated.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

156 foreign nationals deported so far this year

THE AUTHORITIES have deported 156 foreign nationals to their countries of origin so far this year – almost as many as were expelled in the whole of 2008.

Figures compiled by the Department of Justice show that 602 deportation orders have been issued so far this year, with 156 people being flown to their country of origin by the Garda National Immigration Bureau. Most of the deportees were failed asylum applicants.

The figures suggest a significant increase on last year, when 776 deportation orders were signed and 162 were effected.

A further 145 foreigners have been transferred to other European states this year under the so-called Dublin II regulation, which states that asylum must be sought in the applicant’s first EU country of arrival.

Of those who have been deported this year, Nigerian nationals (99) account for a majority, followed by Georgians (10), South Africans and Chinese (eight each) and Brazilians (six).

Monday, August 3, 2009

Only 28pc of jailed migrants sent home

FEWER than one in three non-EU nationals have been deported after serving a prison sentence here.

New figures reveal some 593 prisoners from outside Europe were released from the State's jails over the past eight years.

But just 168 (28pc) of those have been sent back to their home countries, leaving 425 former prison inmates -- many of whom committed serious crimes -- unmonitored.

Since May 2005, all non-EU prisoners have to be considered for deportation.

€39m a year spent on failed asylum applicants, says FG

THE STATE is spending some €39 million a year to house unsuccessful asylum applicants because of delays in the Government’s decision-making process, Fine Gael has suggested.

The party’s immigration spokesman Denis Naughten said that as of the end of June, there were 4,018 asylum applications awaiting a decision, either at first instance or on appeal, although there were 6,961 people in asylum accommodation.

Based on a reply from Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern to a parliamentary question, he calculated that housing the remaining 2,943 people cost the State almost €39 million.