Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ireland 'can only gain by rejecting treaty'

Ireland has nothing to lose and everything to gain by voting no to the Lisbon Treaty, Libertas leader Declan Ganley said today.

The millionaire businessman said the EU reform package had not changed at all since the Irish people rejected it last year during the first ballot.

Legal guarantees hammered out with the leaders of other member states earlier this year on neutrality, tax and family issues were meaningless, he added.

Mr Ganley said if the EU deal is backed by the Irish electorate it would see the transfer of power in more than 60 key decision areas away from Dublin to Brussels.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Defence Forces probe over Nazi salutes on Bebo

THE military authorities have launched an investigation after members of the Defence Forces were shown giving Nazi salutes and posting racist comments on a social networking site.

At least two reserve Defence Force members based in Dublin are under investigation. A spokes-woman for the Minster for Defence Willie O’Dea confirmed the "review" was ongoing and the investigation was expected to be completed by the end of the week.

"There was an investigation at unit level and there was no disciplinary action taken at that level. However, the matter is now with the chief of staff’s office and that investigation is ongoing.

In one image a Defence Force recruit is seen next to a statue of a German eagle clutching a swastika. The young man is wearing a German iron cross buckle on his belt. Another image shows the soldier superimposed beside Ku Klux Klan members.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Loophole allows asylum seekers to claim welfare

ASYLUM seekers who have spent years fighting for refugee status in Ireland could be entitled to claim full social welfare entitlements if they have been in Ireland long enough, it has emerged.

The loophole is likely to prove costly for the government and could encourage asylum seekers to continually make legal challenges to deportation decisions, immigration sources have said.

It means they can claim child benefit and other payments instead of the standard small direct provision payments, which are made available to most refugee applicants in lieu of full welfare entitlements.

Deportee refused leave to enter Nigeria

A 38-year-old woman deported home to Nigeria three weeks ago was refused admission into her country after officials in Nigeria demanded thousands of euro from gardaĆ­ on the basis that the woman had mental health problems. Officers from the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) refused their demand and the woman was returned to Ireland.

The woman is now back in asylum accommodation in Dublin. She came to Ireland five years ago and her return is likely to form the basis of another legal bid to stay here.

A garda source said the woman was not ill on the plane and that the demand by Nigerian authorities for "a few grand" was unacceptable. The source said there was no evidence the woman was mentally or physically unwell.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dell given €55m to aid transfer to Poland

THE decision yesterday by the EU Commission to give €55 million to Dell to assist the US computer giant transfer its Limerick manufacturing operation to Lodz in Poland sparked anger among the Dell workers who will lose their jobs by the end of the year.
More than 1,600 have already been let go at the doomed Limerick plant.

Another 400 will be left go by the end of January next.

Denis Ryan, chairman of the Dell workers’ committee, said: "This is a slap in the face from the EU to us.

They got taxpayers’ money to come to Ireland and when that runs out they pop on to Poland.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Jewish prisoner 'abused' by lack of kosher meals

THE Jewish Representative Council of Ireland will inspect the kitchens of a jail after a prisoner complained to the High Court that his food is not kosher.

The case, the first of its kind in Ireland, has been brought by a Jewish prisoner who was extradited to Ireland from the United Kingdom to stand trial for alleged sexual offences.

The prisoner complained to the High Court that his constitutional rights are being infringed by the failure of the Irish Prison Service to serve him kosher food in Cloverhill Prison.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Warning on Dublin suspect's link to Bin Laden

The 47-year-old has previously denied involvement in terrorism, claiming to be a charity worker. He also claimed to be a journalist at one point.

He is already wanted by the US, Interpol, Libya and the UN. Here he is constantly monitored by the Middle Eastern section of the Special Branch but he has never faced any terror charges.

Buwisir, in Ireland since 1982, lives at his family home in Broadford Drive, Ballinteer, with his wife and children.

Questions have been raised on how he has been able to maintain Irish Citizenship, which was granted by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Asylum-seekers kept in jail for up to three months awaiting deportation

ASYLUM-seekers are being held in jail for up to three months before their deportation, adding to overcrowding in prisons.

The Department of Justice said that, over the past 18 months, nearly 130 people have been imprisoned while arrangements were made for their deportation. The average time spent in custody was 24 days, but some people spent up to 105 days behind bars.

Last year, a total of 162 deportation orders were executed, a slight increase on the previous year, which had been the lowest in a decade.

The department said another 271 non-nationals left the state under what are known as transfer orders under Dublin II regulations. These are people who claimed asylum in Ireland but who were later found to have sought refugee status in another EU state.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Polish nationals arrested in cannabis seizure

Two men have been arrested following the discovery of €20,000 of cannabis in a car at Rosslare Europort, Co Wexford, yesterday evening.

Officers from Revenue's Customs found the 1.66kg of herbal cannabis hidden in the spare wheel of a car disembarking the ferry from France.

The two Polish nationals, aged 32 and 26, were handed over to gardaĆ­ in Wexford.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Influx of immigrants is 'without precedent'

THE number of immigrants who settled in Ireland during the past decade is without precedent in the Western world, the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) said yesterday.

Eastern Europeans made up over 4pc of the population by 2007 after being a negligible percentage of the population just five years earlier.

In Britain, the immigrant population rose by 2pc in the 30 years after 1960, it added.

Just over 10,000 Eastern Europeans lived in Ireland in 2002 while the figure was 200,000 by 2007. The influx was swelled by the Government's decision to allow Eastern Europeans to move here earlier than most other EU countries after the EU expanded in 2004.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Failed asylum seekers sent home

THIRTEEN failed asylum seekers have been returned to Nigeria after exhausting the appeals process here.

The group were being returned to their homes yesterday after being flown out of Dublin on a charter flight, organised through the Frontex network.

The latest flight is the 22nd charter to Nigeria and more are expected later in the year.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Time limits on foreign students proposed

MINISTER FOR Justice Dermot Ahern has proposed capping at five years the amount of time someone from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) can spend in the State as a student.

A discussion document on reform of the student immigration system, published yesterday, also proposes introducing a two-tier system to target incentives at the “upper end of the academic spectrum” and tighter inspection of educational institutions.

Further restrictions would be introduced on the placement of non-EEA children in Irish schools in receipt of State funding, although the document raises the possibility that students could pay an “immigration levy” set by the Government as a means of recovering the costs of their child’s education.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Underage teens trafficked here as sex workers

YOUNG teens below the legal age of consent are being trafficked into Ireland for sexual exploitation, new figures show.

A cloak of invisibility now surrounds the sex trade, with criminals operating in a "hidden world" in which women are marketed over the internet, according to the support group Ruhama.

During 2007 and 2008, its newly published report stated there were 341 women directly assisted by the group, including 100 women trafficked into Ireland specifically for prostitution, the majority from Nigeria.

Student immigration reforms published

The Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern today published a set of proposals to reform student immigration from outside the EU.

A public consultation process on the issue has been launched.

The discussion document drawn up by Mr Ahern, in consultation with a number of other Government departments, contains more than 20 specific proposals, including capping the length of time a person can spend in Ireland as a student, introducing a two tier system to facilitate the targeting of incentives towards the upper end of the academic spectrum, a tighter inspection regime, possible changes in respect of visas and new guidelines on work placement or internship.

Garda surrenders 73 people to other states under European warrants

SEVENTY-THREE people were arrested and surrendered to other states under European arrest warrants last year, according to the annual report on the operation of the system.

The report, released by Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern yesterday, showed 198 requests for surrender were made in 2008. Some 154 were endorsed by the High Court.

The highest proportion of those sought were wanted for assault or robbery (81), followed by fraud (28), drugs offences (25), murder (20) and sex offences (13).

Recent EU accession states accounted for the majority of those sought, with 81 Polish nationals, 26 Lithuanians and 11 Romanians being the subject of European arrest warrants last year.

However, the majority of those actually surrendered to other states went to the UK (32), with 17 to Poland.