Monday, November 8, 2010

Social welfare fraudster jailed for 18 months

A man who defrauded the State out of €70,000 in social welfare payments while he was fully employed has been jailed for 18 months.

Andela Konda (aged 40) of Rosedale Cresent, Clonee was caught working as a chef for the Elephant and Castle restaurant in Temple Bar under a false identity. He had used his real identity to claim social welfare and rent allowance payments over the previous four years.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

New deal for hundreds of Saudis to study in Ireland

SEVERAL HUNDRED Saudi students will travel to Ireland for vocational training under an agreement reached between the Government and the authorities there.

Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation Batt O’Keeffe, who is in the Middle East on a trade mission, announced the agreement yesterday. He said it would boost the economy and help to create local jobs.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Gardaí to meet Latvians over 'sham marriages'

SENIOR MEMBERS of the Garda National Immigration Bureau will meet their Latvian counterparts early next month to bolster co- operation in the fight against “sham marriages” that circumvent Irish immigration laws.

The meeting will follow a joint operation on Monday between the two police forces to free two Latvian women who were allegedly lured to Dublin on the promise of work and then pressured to get married by two men.

A Garda spokesman said two men arrested on suspicion of imprisoning the women – a 23-year- old Indian man and a 32-year-old Pakistani man – were released without charge yesterday afternoon pending the forwarding of a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

'Policy change' required to alter permits for migrants

ALTERING THE permit system to allow migrant workers to change employer to protect them against exploitation would require a fundamental policy change, Minister for Labour Affairs Dara Calleary has said.

Mr Calleary told the Oireachtas Committee on Enterprise, Trade and Innovation yesterday that “a core and crucial element” of the current permit system is that it is “vacancy-driven”.

Permits are only issued on the basis that a vacancy cannot be filled from within the European Economic Area.

This means that employers have to carry out a labour needs test, in addition to which the employer or potential employee must pay between €500 and €1,500 in an application fee.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Poles based in Ireland repatriate €841m

POLES WORKING in Ireland sent home almost €1 billion last year, which amounts to a fifth of all global transfers of cash back to Poland from overseas workers.

About €841 million in wages earned by Polish long-term and temporary employees in Ireland was sent back in savings or payments to support relatives. This amounts to €4,205 each for the estimated 200,000 Poles who live in the Republic.

Since Poland joined the EU in 2004 enabling Poles to work all across the EU, some $6.42 billion (the National Bank of Poland compiles the statistics in dollars; the figure is €4.58 billion at today’s exchange rate) has been sent back to Poland by workers in Ireland.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Non-EU nationals working on fishing vessels illegally

AT LEAST 1,000 non-EU nationals are working on Irish fishing vessels without work permits, the Irish Transport Federation has said.

The Department of Enterprise, has not issued any permits to non- EU seafarers to work on Ireland’s 2,000-strong fishing fleet in the last four years and has not received any applications for such permits.

However, according to the federation, which is affiliated to Siptu, many workers from outside the EU are employed on Irish fishing vessels illegally. Some have also been badly treated.

Migrant workers 'powerless'

Migrant workers in Ireland are being put in a “powerless situation” where they are wholly dependent on the employer for their permit and continued legal immigration status, an Oireachtas Committee has heard.

An ongoing campaign by the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland aims to give migrant workers the right to freely change employer, thereby stopping the exploitation of workers by unscrupulous employers.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Teen asylum seekers take HSE to court

FOUR TEENAGE asylum seekers planning to sit the Leaving Certificate next June have taken High Court proceedings against the HSE aimed at allowing them to return to schools they had previously attended in Dublin.

The four girls, who arrived in Ireland from Africa in 2008 as unaccompanied minors, were initially placed in care and had attended Dublin schools. However after they turned 18, they were relocated to adult hostel accommodation in Galway, where they are currently attending schools.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

State in foreign student drive

The Government plans to increase international students in higher education by 12,000, or 50%, over the next five years boosting the sector to a €1.2bn business.

A new visa regime and higher standards will be key planks of the reform.

As part of the initiative to boost the current €900m a year financial intake to €1.2bn, MrAhern launched a new immigration regime for international students, reforming entry requirements while at the same time imposing safeguards to prevent abuse of the system.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Unemployment still rising

The decline in the numbers of people in employment has slowed down but almost half of those without jobs have not worked in a year or more, data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) has shown.

There were 1,859,100 people in employment in the second quarter of 2010, the CSO’s Quarterly National Household Survey has shown.

This represents an annual decrease in employment of 79,400 - or 4.1 per cent 0 and compares with an annual decrease in employment of 5.5 per cent in the previous quarter and a decline of 8.2 per cent in the year to the second quarter of 2009.

Ireland's outward migration highest in 20 years: CSO

A total 65,300 people left Ireland between April 2009 and April 2010, while the number of immigrants into the country stands at 30,800.

About 27,700 of the emigrants were Irish, up from 18,400 the previous year.

Bill on migrants criticised as unclear

THE GOVERNMENT’S latest version of its Immigration Bill still fails to provide clear rules on who can come and live in Ireland and what conditions and rights they have, a leading NGO has warned.

The Immigrant Council of Ireland said yesterday that the proposed Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill 2010 would result in inconsistent decision-making, delays and a continued reliance on the courts to decide many cases.

Provisions enabling the State to deport migrants without any possibility of appealing a decision would also breach Ireland’s human rights obligations, the council said in a paper on the new Bill.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Eastern European gangs are attracted here by flawed bail system

Eastern European gangs will target Ireland increasingly because the "vast majority" of those caught for crimes ranging from ATM robbery, credit-card fraud and, most recently, robbery from parking meters on a large scale, receive bail almost automatically and abscond, gardai say.

The parking-meter gang of Eastern European origin is the latest to hit Ireland. It is linked to gangs that have been operating similar scams in Britain in recent years.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

First stones laid for Galway mosque

FOUNDATION stones for Galway’s first purpose-built mosque have been laid by international and national leaders of the Amhadiyya Muslim community.

The Masjid Maryum (Mary Mosque) will be open to “all worshippers of all faiths” when it is built in Ballybrit, the Irish Ahmadiyya Muslim chapter said last night.

Muslims are now the third largest faith grouping in the Republic, mainly Sunnis, and there are about 3,000 Muslims in Galway. Ahmadi worshippers are in the minority, but share good relations with fellow Muslims, Imran Ahmed Sheikh said.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Migrant strategy aims to make integration 'the norm' in classrooms

TEACHERS SHOULD create a more “intercultural learning environment” in classrooms and focus more on developing pupils’ English language skills during regular lessons.

These are two key proposals in a new Government five-year migrant education strategy, which aims to make “inclusion and integration the norm” and combat racism in schools.

In the 2009/10 academic year there were 28,422 migrant children attending second-level schools, 9 per cent of the school population. At primary level, there are 45,700 immigrant pupils out of a total student population of 476,000. British, Polish and Nigerians are the three biggest migrant groups at second-level schools.

Monday, September 13, 2010

State gives private companies €182m to run asylum centres

PRIVATE companies have won contracts worth more than €182m to run asylum seeker accommodation centres, an Irish Independent investigation reveals.

New records show how the slow pace of Ireland's asylum process has proved a cash cow for a small number of companies who secured major state contracts.

With some asylum cases taking up to six years to finalise, the business of providing applicants with food and shelter has been a lucrative one.

The revelations come just weeks after a Department of Justice value-for-money report found that state-owned accommodation was costing the taxpayer less per person than privately owned operations.

5,000 homeless living on streets

seen in the 1980s, with up to 5,000 people currently without a home and another 100,000 on social housing waiting lists.

The recession has been blamed for a dramatic rise in homeless numbers and comes as the Government's deadline for ending long-term homelessness by the end of this year rapidly approaches.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Giving asylum seekers social welfare would double cost

MOVING asylum seekers into the social welfare net would more than double the cost of accommodating them in Ireland each year.
A report into value for money in providing bed and board for would-be refugees found that the so-called "direct provision" system is the cheapest option.

Using this system, asylum seekers are paid a small weekly stipend in welfare payments but have their lodgings and food needs provided for.

The cost of providing accommodation for asylum seekers is now in the order of €91.5m with an average occupancy of 6,857 people.

However, moving those people directly into the social welfare system could end up costing at least €180m, the report found.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

African starts plane riot to avoid deportation

A Congolese asylum seeker, who was being deported from Dublin to Kinshasa, created a riot on a plane in Paris and had to be escorted back here.

Last night the asylum seeker was back in Wheatfield Prison where he had been held, prior to his deportation attempt.

He has been in this country for the past seven years and is understood to have criminal convictions for shoplifting and public order offences. It is now likely that he will be deported on a specially chartered flight.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Judge describes refugee claimant as "audacious"

A CHINESE national who sought refugee status in Ireland after claiming to be a persecuted Christian has been described by a judge as "audacious" in his claims.

Mr Justice Brian McGovern said the asylum seeker, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had ultimately admitted he knew nothing about Jesus, the name of Jesus's mother, or where he had been born.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Gardai smash immigration scam

GARDAI have smashed a lucrative scam in which human traffickers were smuggling illegal immigrants into the State.

The scam involves illegals being put on flights into the country without any documentation. When they are stopped on arrival here, they claim to be minors and are put into the care of the HSE. They later disappear from the HSE hostels after lodging claims for asylum.

Gardai have suspected for some time that many of those who disappear from HSE care are being manipulated by traffickers and have noticed that a large amount of Chinese have been travelling here from Spain.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Asylum seekers stage protests

Asylum seekers are holding demonstrations in several towns across the State today to highlight the long delays in deciding their cases and the poor living conditions at accommodation centres.

The protests coincide with an August 31st deadline set by the Reception and Integration Agency, which is responsible for the care of asylum seekers, for 109 residents at Mosney to move to a different asylum hostel in Dublin.

Up to 80 asylum-seekers demonstrated outside Mosney this morning over the transfer orders made to the residents to move to Hatch Hall in Dublin.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Fewer than 25% served with deportation orders have been removed from State

THE GOVERNMENT has deported fewer than a quarter of the people it targeted for removal from the State over the past decade.

Figures show 3,680 people – the vast majority of whom are failed asylum seekers – have been deported since January 2000. In the same period successive ministers for justice signed some 16,799 deportation orders. The wherabouts of the remaining 13,119 people served with deportation orders is not known. Some have voluntarily returned to their home country, others have fled to other EU states and some live illegally in the State.

Thousands of asylum seekers unaccounted for

UP to 5,500 people who are claiming asylum are not living in the state-provided accommodation centres where asylum seekers are expected to reside, and so fall outside official figures.

According to figures obtained by the Irish Examiner, there are approximately 11,500 cases awaiting processing in the lengthy and complex legal system around asylum – and not just the 6,000-plus who live at the state-funded centres.

Under Department of Justice rules, asylum seekers are not allowed to seek alternative accommodation in the private rented sector.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

'Work for dole' scheme announced

The Government has confirmed that it is to introduce new measures which could see some dole claimants work in the community in return for their benefits.

The proposals could be introduced as early as next month, recipients could be denied dole if they refuse to work.

The proposals would see participants work 19.5 hours a week and receive around €210 in return.

Immigrants should be screened on arrival

Immigrants arriving in Ireland should be obliged to undergo a medical examination, the overwhelming majority of Irish people think, according to the latest Sunday Independent poll.

Some 76 per cent of those polled said that in view of the outbreak of Tuberculosis (TB) in Cork last week, all arriving immigrants should be required to undergo a medical examination.

Vast majority favour tougher begging laws

Dublin's iconic Ha'penny Bridge has become a battleground of rival "indigents and beggars" scuffling for the best begging "pitches".

In recent months, the rivalry has intensified with different factions of Dubliners, eastern Europeans and occasionally Roma gypsies vying for market dominance.

With an estimated footfall of 30,000 pedestrians a day, Sean Kavanagh, who runs Ireland's Big Issue magazine, says begging is a growth industry.

Latvian woman in marriage scam claims she was raped

A YOUNG Latvian woman has told gardai that she was raped and sexually assaulted by men who lured her to Ireland to take part in an arranged marriage.

The woman claimed that she was used for sex by a group of Asian men who moved her between different houses in Waterford and the Cork towns of Midleton and Cobh. She was poorly fed, intimidated and left without any money.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Asylum seeker doctor lied on CV to get job

Dr Ahmed Alastal (38) yesterday told an Irish Medical Council hearing that he had fabricated some parts of his employment experience when applying for a position in a psychiatric hospital in the Midlands.

The father of two, who lives in Portlaoise, worked as a junior doctor at St Fintan's in Portlaoise between July 2009 and October 2009.

He resigned from the job when concerns were raised about his past work experience. Dr Alastal was granted political asylum here in 2003 and was made an Irish citizen in 2008.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Gardaí object to 57 suspected 'sham' marriages

GARDAÍ HAVE objected to 57 marriages in the last nine months as part of an ongoing operation to combat “sham” marriages aimed at circumventing immigration law.

They are investigating allegations of false imprisonment and rape from several women who were lured to the Republic by men promising jobs who subsequently pressured them to get married.

Chief Supt John O’Driscoll of the Garda National Immigration Bureau said yesterday many cases involved vulnerable young women, recruited particularly from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. “We have made 16 arrests so far as part of Operation Charity, which includes nine people who were removed from the State because they were here illegally. A further seven have been arrested for suspected criminality,” he said.

Customs staff sacked in race probe

Seven Revenue and Customs staff have been sacked for racially abusing non-nationals who claimed child benefit, it has been revealed.

Two others quit when an investigation was launched earlier this year. All nine were based at an HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) contact centre in Belfast.

It is understood they were accused of tampering with computer records, which meant a number of people from ethnic minority backgrounds living in various parts of the UK were paid less money than they were entitled to. All have now been fully imbursed.

Five are deported in sham marriage operation

A GARDA investigation into sham marriages for the purpose of gaining residency has led to the deportations of at least five people, the Irish Independent has learnt.

Many more deportations could follow as a result of Operation Charity, an ongoing Garda National Immigration Bureau investigation aimed at tackling so-called marriages of convenience.

The operation was set up last year to prevent and detect criminality associated with marriages between EU and non-EU nationals for the purpose of gaining residency in Ireland.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Up to 15% of Irish marriages could be bogus

Up to 15% of civil ceremonies held here in Ireland may be bogus, according to the HSE's superintendent registrar.

An increase in bogus marriages has been noted across the country as non-EU nationals, typically from Pakistan and India, seek residency after marrying an EU citizen.

Under an EU directive, non-EU spouses and family members of EU citizens have the right to travel freely within the union, despite the Irish Government's attempt to limit this right.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Garda issue warning over online racism

THE GARDA have warned people who set up pages inciting racism on online social networks that they are open to prosecution, and even people who join these sites could face charges.

Sgt David McInerney of the Garda Racial and Intercultural Office said site hosts like Facebook were also “open to prosecution” if there was a valid complaint about racist online material.

“It is only a matter of time before a prosecution is brought,” he said.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Takeaway facing immigration fine

Owners of a Co Antrim kebab shop were facing a fine of up to £20,000 after immigration officials arrested two of its employees.

Two Pakistan nationals, aged 37 and 29, were arrested, one on suspicion of being an illegal immigrant and the other on suspicion of breach of visa conditions.

The owners of Raz Kebab in Carrickfergus must now show they carried out "right-to-work" checks on the men.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Female asylum seekers not happy with detention conditions

A SMALL number of foreign women held in immigration-related detention have complained about the conditions in the Dóchas Centre, including in some cases, racist abuse from other inmates.

"Detainees report having racist insults hurled at them from Irish criminal offenders that are detained within the same space."

It also quotes from one of the interviewees: "I suffered depression in Zimbabwe, but it is worse now since I’ve been in prison."

Review ordered for asylum seekers

IMMIGRATION AUTHORITIES have ordered a review into the cases of asylum seekers who are waiting five years or more to receive a final decision on their application to continue living in the State.

The review could benefit about 100 people who have been living in direct provision accommodation centres since 2005. It may be extended to a couple of hundred other asylum seekers, who choose to live outside the centres.

Officials at the Department of Justice have told non-governmental organisations (NGOs) the review is not an amnesty, although it is being undertaken with a view to granting leave to remain to people living here longer than five years.

Monday, August 2, 2010

A third in asylum centres are children

At the end of May there were 6,246 people living in direct provision accommodation in 45 centres around the country, 2,034 of whom are under 18.

More than 1,250 of those are children under four years old, suggesting many are being born in Ireland as asylum seekers.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

40,000 emigrants last year

A research institute has warned that 200,000 people, out of a population of 4.5 million, may emigrate by 2015 if employment prospects do not improve.

Some of those leaving are thought to be immigrants who arrived in large numbers from mainland Europe over the last decade and who, now jobless, are returning home.

But a large proportion are young Irish males who, with unemployment running at more than 13pc, see little prospect of obtaining work. In particular, large numbers in the building industry are on the dole with construction almost shuddered to a halt.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ten Albanians held in major burglary investigation

n men have been arrested as part of a four-month operation into 50 burglaries across the south and southeast.

Ten people, all Albanian men aged between 30 and 44, were arrested this morning in 22 raids stretching from Co Kerry to Co Wexford.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

‘Returning Irish emigrants refused social welfare payments’

RETURNING Irish emigrants are being refused vital social welfare payments because of an "increasingly strict interpretation" of the residency requirements, FG social protection spokesman Michael Ring claimed.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Parents forced to seek asylum for Irish-born children

IRISH-BORN children only a few months old are being individually placed in the asylum process despite never having left Ireland.

The Irish Refugee Council (IRC) is to raise the issue, which is leading to significant delays in the asylum process, with the Department of Justice.

The individual designation of young children born in their resident state as asylum seekers deviates from best practice in other EU states, where children are treated as family dependents.

Fears for young asylum seekers

SEPARATED children who came to this country, often by being trafficked, are being moved into adult direct provision accommodation once they turn 18.

The use of direct provision – centres where asylum seekers are housed – has been widely condemned, and now concerns are being raised as young people are moved the moment they turn 18.

It is understood there are about 70 such young people in the system at the moment who live in Dublin, but who will be moved to centres around the country.

Bill lets public use lethal force on intruders

THE new home defence bill has shifted the balance of rights back to the house owner "where it should always have been", say gardaí.

The Association of Garda Sergeants (AGSI) and Inspectors also said it was ridiculous to suggest the bill provided a "have-a-go charter" to homeowners and said the current situation, which legally demands a house owner retreat from an intruder, was "intolerable".

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Migrants not "going home"

The level of calls to the Immigrant Council of Ireland’s (ICI) Information and Referral Service in the first half of 2010 has remained consistent with previous years and does not support the rhetoric that migrants are ‘going home’ and instead highlights that many migrants have made Ireland their home.

While some migrants have returned to their countries of origin, they are mainly migrants from the EU12 accession states.

Albanian Jailed for Burglary

An Albanian man who broke into a chip shop and stole a tray of cod along with cash from the till has been given a three year sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Kastriot Boza (aged 37) was also sentenced for another burglary at a home in Irishtown during which he took about €1,000 in cash and a credit card which he used to withdraw a further €700.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Migrant masturbates in public

A FRUIT picker caught masturbating in public had gone out and got drunk after an argument with his girlfriend.

Michal Wesolowaski (28) committed the offence in a bizarre drunken reaction to the row the couple had had earlier in the day.

He avoided a conviction for indecency after he made a donation to charity and a court heard there was nobody else involved.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Deported homosexual asylum seeker seeks judicial review

A NIGERIAN national deported in 2009 after he unsuccessfully applied for asylum on the basis he faced persecution in his home country because he is homosexual will this week seek a judicial review in the High Court.

The case is being brought on the basis that Minister for Justice and Law Reform Dermot Ahern failed to take into account the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) guidelines on sexual orientation and gender identity in his refusal to revoke a deportation order in relation to Mobolaji Adams, who was refused asylum on the basis that if he practised “discretion” in Nigeria he would not be persecuted.

The case will be heard a week after five supreme court judges in the UK ruled gay and lesbian asylum seekers should not be expected to “exercise discretion” to avoid persecution.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Gardaí deny racial abuse

GARDAÍ HAVE denied claims they racially abused and assaulted a Nigerian-born Irish citizen who alleged he was singled out at a checkpoint because he was black.

Sunny Akpabot (42), formerly of St Ronan’s Green, Clondalkin, Dublin, now living in Coventry, UK, has brought a High Court action for damages against the Minister for Justice.

He claims he was assaulted, falsely arrested and unlawfully detained on January 9th, 2002 at Belgard Square North, Tallaght, Dublin. He also claims he was subject to racist and intimidating taunts at the checkpoint and in a squad car on his way to Tallaght Garda station after the incident.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Supreme Court dismisses Izevbekhai appeal

Pamela Izevbekhai was seeking to appeal the decision by the Minister for Justice to deport her and her two daughters to Nigeria.

Her lawyers argued that a new EU directive allowed the minister to review her case, which centres on the risk she claims her daughters face from female genital mutilation if returned to Nigeria.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Support service for people subjected to racism

REPORTS of violent racist acts and verbal abuse towards immigrants has led the Immigrant Council of Ireland to set up a pilot service for people who have experienced or witnessed racist incidents.

The Racist Incidents Support and Referral Service will provide information and support, including referrals to counselling services where appropriate, as well as recording data and reporting on trends and advocate for legislative and policy change where necessary.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Asylum seekers threathen hunger strike

Asylum seekers are set to protest after it was confirmed today that more than 150 of them are to be moved from the Mosney accommodation centre in Co Meath.

Some of the foreign nationals are now threatening to go on a hunger strike and to hold other demonstrations ahead of the move next week.

Many of the 800 residents at the facility at the former holiday camp at Laytown have lived there for years.

Afghan loses refugee appeal

He came to Ireland after being advised by a relative in the security forces to leave Afghanistan because a warrant had been issued for his arrest. His bid for refugee status was later refused.

Mr Justice Éamon de Valera yesterday dismissed his challenge after finding there was “a clear basis” for findings and inferences drawn him by the tribunal.

Nigerian grandmother loses deportation challenge

A 74-YEAR-OLD grandmother living in Ireland with her daughter and six grandchildren since 2006 has lost a High Court challenge to an order for her deportation. The decision means she cannot validly visit Ireland in the future.

Ms Justice Maureen Clark said, while she had sympathy for the grandmother, Mrs O, from Nigeria, she had chosen to pursue the route of asylum seeker rather than visiting her family here legally on a visitor’s visa.

Friday, July 2, 2010

New immigration Bill published

The Government has today published a new immigration Bill which will allow for the fast-tracking of deportations.

The Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill 2010 replaces earlier legislation which was to be redrafted this year.

Among the provisions included in the new Bill, which is expected to be introduced before autumn, is the fast-tracking of asylum procedures and appeals.

The new Bill has a provision enabling the Minister for Justice to disregard so-called "marriage of conveniences," where individuals have been found to have married so that one or both of them can stay in the country.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Migrant young people bullied in schools

NEW research has warned of the "potential for conflict" between immigrant and native Irish children as young foreign people in Ireland battle with language barriers.

Migrant children are experiencing racism and bullying and even more aggressive attitudes and actions, according to research by the Trinity Immigration Initiative. Multiple studies from the college also looked at how migrants were coping with work, integration as well as the courts.

Read more:

Immigrants stay put despite recession

A MASSIVE 'exodus' of immigrants who made Ireland their home has not materialised due to the recession, new research has found.

However, unemployment has been rising faster amongst new EU member state migrants than amongst Irish workers, the study from the Trinity Immigration Research Programme revealed.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Migrant workers suffering "overt racism" from within the system

MIGRANT workers who become homeless experience "overt racism" from within the system and are not being provided with sufficient translation services, according to a homeless charity.

Crosscare officer Wayne Stanley said migrant workers were facing discrimination and being told they are not entitled to any welfare payments when they might be, and in some cases people have not been provided with translation services and so were not fully aware of what was required.

He said latest figures from the charity’s Amien Street service showed that more than 30% of new clients presenting in the first four months of this year were not Irish.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Loyalist speaks up for migrants

Migrant workers are a benefit to Northern Ireland's society and should be protected from racists, a leading loyalist has claimed.
Former Progressive Unionist Party leader Dawn Purvis spoke out in defence of minorities who have come under sporadic attack in parts of the province.

She said: "I want to be clear - migrant workers are here, they are here to stay and they are an important and positive part of not only our economy, but of our community.

Gardaí to crack down on arranged marriages

GARDAí are hoping to utilise little-used laws on bigamy in an attempt to crack down on arranged marriage rackets that have become rife.

Gardaí are still involved in a lengthy investigation called Operation Charity, which specifically targeted marriages between Pakistani men and Eastern European women in Ireland.

So far, nine people have been arrested in connection with their enquiries, five of whom were evading deportation at the time.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Warning recession may raise racist tensions

IRELAND’S FALL into recession could lead to more tensions between immigrants and the native Irish population, the Irish committee of the European Cultural Foundation has warned.

Its chairwoman, Mary Canning, said instances of deaths associated with racism were not common but “there is a worry that perhaps there could be more issues of tension, particularly at local level”.

“People are in danger of becoming ghettoised, either in their housing or in their access to education or to health services.”

Monday, June 21, 2010

Asylum rate near lowest in Europe

ASYLUM seekers are less likely to be granted refugee status or other form of protection in Ireland than almost anywhere else in Europe, according to new EU figures.

The report shows that Ireland has one of the worst records in the EU for granting asylum to refugees. Just 4% of asylum seekers here were granted protection last year – the second lowest rate of any of the 27 EU countries. Only Greece has a poorer record, with just 1% of applicants being granted asylum there.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Asylum seeker jailed for welfare fraud

A failed asylum seeker assumed the identity of a dead woman to secure work and claim over €18,000 worth of social welfare payments in Limerick.

Izabel Zuwa from Nigeria and with an address at Crossley House, Dock Road, Limerick has been jailed for 6 months at Limerick District Court.

Polish national jailed for stabbing

A POLISH man has received a six-year prison sentence after being convicted of the manslaughter of his lover's husband last year.

Michal Skotak (32) was stabbed in a row following a First Holy Communion celebration for his adopted child on May 16 last year.

Yesterday, Michal Kurowski (29), of Old Gallows Field, Tralee, Co Kerry, was sentenced after he had been convicted of manslaughter at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin. The jury reached its verdict by a 10-1 majority.

Investigation finds migrant workers face discrimination

A formal investigation into the role of the recruitment sector in the employment of migrant workers in Northern Ireland has found non-nationals are being discriminated against.

Those findings include:

•Participants encountered barriers to equality of opportunity for those using the recruitment sector.
•Irregularity of work.
•Large amounts of money being paid in their native countries to find work which was not as expected.
•Poor employment practices.
•Securing predominantly low paid work.
•Difficulties in having qualifications gained outside the UK recognised by employers.

Concern over refusal of refugees

THE Irish Refugee Council said a study needed to be carried out to see why Ireland accepted so few asylum seekers, writes Shane Hickey.

It said just 4pc of those who applied here for refugee status here were given the go-ahead.

Yesterday, the agency marked World Refugee Day with a number of events in Dublin.

Criticism over lack of privacy for asylum seekers

Asylum seekers living in hostels for several years are facing significant mental stress

PERPETUA LOST her twins last month. She was six months pregnant when she miscarried, and believes the stress of living at the Eglinton Hotel – a 235-bed hostel for asylum seekers in Galway – contributed to the death of her boys.

“I was living in a small room with my five-year-old daughter, another mother, and her 1½-year-old son. It was impossible to get any sleep or rest. The young boy would often wake us up, or the television was left on. It was very tiring,” she claims.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bloody Sunday down to soldiers 'losing their self control'

The report into the Bloody Sunday killings in 1972 has been published by the British Government.

The most expensive and longest-running inquiry in British history has found that the events in Derry on 30 January 1972 were 'unjustified and unjustifiable' and that all those killed were innocent victims.

The inquiry said the casualties were down to the soldiers 'losing their self control'.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Number of migrants voting in local elections rises 44%

THERE WAS a 44 per cent increase in the number of immigrants who voted in last year’s local elections, following a campaign which encouraged more immigrants to register and vote.

The campaign, by the Africa Centre and the New Communities Partnership, aimed to encourage 10,0000 more immigrants in 10 local authority areas to get involved in the June elections. An additional 15,681 immigrants registered and voted in those 10 areas.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Missing minors traced to Chinese restaurateur

GardaÍ are to recommend a wealthy Chinese restaurateur be charged with the trafficking of several Chinese children who disappeared from state care at accommodation hostels for unaccompanied boys and girls in the past few years.

Detectives in Dublin launched an investigation last year into the businessman's involvement in the disappearance of 34 unaccompanied Chinese minors whom gardaí suspect were trafficked into Ireland to work in the sex and labour industry.

Social welfare refused 9,000 bogus claims last year

MORE than 9,000 people were refused social welfare payments last year after it was deemed they were not habitually resident in Ireland.

Thousands of apparently bogus claims had been filed with the Department of Social and Family Affairs, according to figures, which are showing a vast increase in the number of failed applications.

According to the department, 9,200 people sought welfare last year who were subsequently deemed not to be permanently resident in the country.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Romanian accused of stealing €1,100 from diners' cloned cards

A WAITER who copied the Laser card details of two customers in a restaurant where he worked spent €1,100 on their cards, it has been claimed.

Andrei Nechifor (29) is alleged to have used the copy Laser cards to buy groceries, to get cashback, and to take money out of ATMs.

In all, it is alleged that Nechifor stole €1,150.72 from the victims' accounts over a five- day period.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Women cursed to life of slavery

OVER the last five years, one province in Nigeria has consistently cropped up when Ireland’s human trafficking problem is being addressed.

Up to 100,000 of Europe’s 500,000 trafficking victims have been brought from the west African country and of those, anywhere between 60%-80% originate from the Edo state.

Foreigners trafficked to Ireland

"GIRLS in their early teens are being trafficked to Northern Ireland and forced into prostitution and servitude right under our noses."

That was the stark admission, not of an anti-prostitution campaigner or women’s rights activist, but of the assistant chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and it was made during a Stormont Public Accounts Committee meeting last month.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

€35m bill for non-resident benefits

Immigrants who have returned to mainly eastern European countries are claiming their entitlement to around €35m a year in social welfare payments here, figures released to the Sunday Independent reveal.

The Department of Social Protection is obliged to pay just over €15m a year in Jobseeker's Benefit and a further €20m a year in Child Benefit to immigrants who no longer live in Ireland.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Migrant workers stage Dublin protest

A demonstration was held in Dublin today over the right of migrant workers to change their employer.

Up to 200 workers, banging drums, blowing whistles and carrying placards reading "work permit = licence to exploit", took part in the march outside the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation.

The MRCI said the current system means that migrant workers are unable to leave exploitative working conditions because of the rigid and inflexible employment permits system.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Israel kidnaps Irish citizens

FOREIGN Affairs Minister Micheál Martin has accused Israel of kidnapping up to eight Irish citizens and breaking international law by refusing diplomats access to them.

Six confirmed Irish passport holders were threatened with internment at the Be’er Sheva detention camp unless they signed deportation agreements with Israeli. They were aboard the aid flotilla stormed by Israeli commandos which left at least nine people dead.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Asylum backlog cost at least €26m last year

MORE than 2,300 of the country's asylum seekers in full-time accommodation have been in the system for more than three years.

The incredibly slow pace of progress in clearing the backlog of applications cost at least €26m last year, just to provide bed and board.

The Department of Justice has said new legislation to tackle the growing length of time involved in dealing with applications will be enacted shortly.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Slovak fraudster jailed

AN unemployed social worker scammed a mobile company store into selling him handsets at bill-pay prices, before selling them on at a profit.

Jozef Jurecko (34) used a fake passport and bank account to buy the low-cost phones that he then sold. A court heard that he had turned to crime after being laid off from a construction job.

Judge Catherine Murphy jailed him for six months after he admitted to a number of theft and fraud offences.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

No right to work for non-EU family members

THE GOVERNMENT is removing the right to work for non-EU family members of EU citizens while they await a decision on their right to residency in Ireland.

The decision reflects concerns over rising unemployment and the Department of Justice’s ongoing campaign targeting so-called “sham marriages” between EU citizens and third country nationals.

Under current rules, the family members of EU citizens who settle in the Republic can work while the Government considers their right to residency. It usually takes six months for the department to process residency cards.

Traders back shop owner in racism row

TRADERS have backed a shop owner who has been accused of racism after displaying photographs of Romany gypsies in her store following a spate of shoplifting

Joan Lucey, the owner of independent Cork-based book store chain, Vibes & Scribes, denied she was being racist and said she felt she had no other option.

Tribunal rejects 92% of refugee appeals

THE REFUGEE Appeals Tribunal rejected 92 per cent of the appeals it ruled on last year, which marks a fifth successive annual rise in the rejection rate for asylum appeals.

The tribunal affirmed 2,987 decisions of the Refugee Applications Commissioner in 2009 and set aside 266 decisions. Almost half the successful appeals against decisions not to grant refugee status (50) were lodged by Iraqis.

The tribunal overturned 7 per cent of decisions not to grant refugee status to people from Moldova and 6 per cent of decisions to people from Zimbabwe and DR Congo. It accepted 3 per cent of appeals lodged by Nigerians and Pakistanis respectively, according to the tribunal’s 2009 annual report released yesterday.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Crackdown on Child Benefit under way

PARENTS will have to prove that they live in the country and are entitled to the Children’s Allowance as part of a crackdown on payments to families who are no longer living in Ireland or cannot prove habitual residence here.

Up until May 2004 Children’s Allowance was granted to all children in the country regardless of the earnings or status of their payments.

But the rules changed and the right was removed from parents who could not prove habitual residence.

Criticism of conditions in asylum hostels

AN organisation which works with asylum seekers in Limerick has hit out at the living conditions in hostels.

Ms McHugh said: "In one city centre hostel, which was a hotel, there are four to six people living in rooms. The people living in the rooms come from different countries and speak different languages. There has to be a health and safety issue with these kind of numbers in the same room. The Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) seem to think this is all right and complies with regulations.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Al-Qaeda extremists are taking hold here, claims Muslim cleric

EXTREMIST Muslims influenced by al-Qaeda are taking a hold in Ireland and some of these young adults are becoming influential in the country's universities, the Muslim religious leader of a Dublin mosque has warned.

Two Muslims living in Ireland have been charged with minor offences relating to the international investigation into the alleged plot to murder cartoonist Lars Vilks, who controversially depicted the prophet Mohammed with the body of a dog.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Two-thirds of immigrants planning to stay

TWO-THIRDS of immigrants plan to stay in the Republic despite the recession and many working in jobs below their skill level, a new reports shows.

An EU-funded report on the training needs of young immigrants found 68 per cent of immigrants planned to stay on.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

75% of applications for asylum here rejected

THE GOVERNMENT rejected three-quarters of the 4,040 asylum applications it considered last year, which is slightly higher than the average rejection rate in the EU.

Some 1,030 people were given positive decisions, providing them with the legal right to remain in the Republic. The vast majority of successful applicants (885) were allowed to stay in the country for humanitarian reasons, such as having an Irish citizen child. Some 105 people got refugee status and 40 people were awarded subsidiary protection, according to the EU statistics agency, Eurostat

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Two-thirds of refugees claiming to be Somalian are lying

ALMOST two-thirds of asylum seekers who claimed to be from war-torn Somalia last year were found to be lying.

The immigration authorities mounted a special operation, which involved inviting the "Somali" nationals to do interviews with a language analyst, and checking their applications against the British authorities' database.

They found that 61pc of the 104 applicants who last year said they were from Somalia had applied for visas in Britain under a different nationality.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Three Spanish women admit running brothel

Three Spanish women have been told to leave the country after they admitted running a brothel in Limerick city.

Judge Tom O'Donnell imposed suspended jail sentences on each of the women on condition they leave the country in the coming week.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Romanian brothel keeper given week to leave Ireland

A Romanian brothel keeper has been given a week to leave Ireland in lieu of three years in jail.

Judge McCartan said though some may not consider the sentence punishment “to any great extent”, Selaru’s record will be known to Romanian authorities and he will be barred from re-entering Ireland for a decade.

The judge added that he didn’t see why the Irish taxpayer should have to pay to keep Selaru (37) in jail.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Eastern Europeans on drug charges

TWO brothers have appeared in court on drugs charges after gardai allegedly found a cannabis farm in their south Dublin home.

Slawek Kubik (26) and his brother Dariuz (29) were allegedly found with over €15,000 worth of cannabis resin, seeds and plants at their home.

Nigerian asylum seekers deported

Up to 24 asylum seekers from Nigeria were deported last night on an aircraft chartered by the Department of Justice.

The flight to Lagos was organised in co-operation with Ireland’s EU partners through the borders and immigration agency, Frontex.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Estonian man pleads guilty to sexual assault

The accused was on trial for the rape of the woman while she slept after a night out. On hearing the victim’s evidence and following legal discussion, he entered a plea to the lesser charge of sexual assault and the state decided not to proceed with the rape charge.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Jobs centre offers careers in British army

A FÁS-funded Limerick jobs centre has been ordered to stop promoting careers in the British army, a criminal offence under the Defence Act of 1954.

The act states that anyone attempting "to induce, procure or persuade any person in the state to accept or agree to accept any commission or engagement in any military, naval or air force maintained by the government of any other state" is liable to a large fine and/or six months in prison.

Criticism of new asylum seeker rules

The house rules and procedures published yesterday by the Reception and Integration Agency set rules on child welfare, fire safety and acceptable behaviour for residents of the centres to follow. They also identify services that each of the 53 centres should provide to the 6,358 asylum seekers currently in residence in them.

However, the Irish Refugee Council and the Free Legal Advice Centre both criticised the decision not to create an independent appeals mechanism for residents living at the centres.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bilderberg’s "brother group" to meet in Dublin

The Bilderberg group will conduct its annual meeting June 3-6 in Sitges, Spain (a small, exclusive resort town about 20 miles from Barcelona) behind a wall of armed guards who will seal off the resort in a futile attempt to keep the event secret.

Bilderberg’s meeting will follow that of its brother group, the Trilateral Commission, which will gather at the Four Seasons Resort in Dublin, Ireland May 6-10. Leaders of Bilderberg also attend the Trilateralists’ meeting to map their common agenda. About 300 attend Trilateral Commission meetings, which are conducted behind sealed-off, guarded floors of their hotel. About 100 will attend Bilderberg, which seals off the entire resort behind platoons of uniformed police and private security.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Nigerian accused in credit card scam

Adewale Yusuf (26) is alleged to have signed for the Nikon SB-600 flash, worth €310, after it was delivered to his home.

A court heard that father-of-three Yusuf, who is originally from Nigeria, may have been just one of a number of individuals involved in the scam.

The accused, of Russell Close in Tallaght, appeared before Tallaght District Court charged with handling stolen property at his home on March 27 last.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Nigerians death being used as excuse to promote interculturalism

PROMOTING integration in the community where tragic teenager Toyosi Shittabey was knifed to death will be the best tribute to the slain schoolboy, councillors have said.

Fingal County Council is to convene a meeting in Tyrrelstown to discuss the provision of better facilities "to assist interculturalism and a cohesive community".

Migrants' group calls for reform of work permit system

The campaign, which is being launched today in Dublin, is calling for a change in the regulations governing the approximately 25,000 migrant workers currently in the Employment Permit System.

As the system currently operates, these workers are only allowed to work for the employer designated on their permit. They are not allowed to freely change employer.

Revenue accused of 'treason' in tender row

THE Revenue Commissioners have been accused of "economic treason" for spending €225,000 on having tax forms printed in Spain.

The printing contract was previously held by an Irish company, which is now expected to have to lay off four of its 50 staff as a result.

Romanian charged with running a brothel

An alleged brothel keeper threatened to starve one of the prostitutes working for him unless she brought in more business, it has been alleged at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Mihai Selaru (aged 37) of Gateway Crescent, Ballymun, is accused of bringing two women over from Romania to work as prostitutes, after telling one he was going to get her work as a cleaner.

The Romanian national has pleaded not guilty to organising prostitution, keeping a brothel and living off the proceeds of prostitution between September 3 to 11, 2009 at an apartment on Liberty Square, James Joyce Street.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Tallaght hospital outsources typing to Far East

THE hospital at the centre of the scandal over X-ray rechecks and unread GP letters is outsourcing basic typing work to the Far East, it emerged yesterday.

Letters sent by some consultants at Tallaght Hospital, Dublin, to GPs may be typed in the Far East rather than by an internal secretary.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Integration statistics not being collected

THERE is no formal agency collecting information, research or statistics in relation to racism and integration.

Since the disbanding of the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism (NCCRI), which carried out extensive research and acted as a bridge between communities and policy makers, there has been no coherent direction on integration policy from the government.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Secondary schools to get guidelines on gay rights

The Association of Secondary Teachers of Ireland has compiled a code of practice on equal gay rights and will issue it to schools next week.

The code will deal with the homophobic harassment and victimisation of staff.

Minister to review laws dealing with racism

The Green Party minister yesterday called for calm as mourners attended the funeral of 15-year-old Nigerian Toyosi Shitta-bey.

Speaking outside the funeral home in Lucan yesterday, Ms White said: "It is important that people who come to live here and come from different ethnic backgrounds can be treated with respect and full integration that all the Irish Government can offer.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Chinese girls brought in to grow drugs

Chinese women are being trafficked into Ireland to work on cannabis farms. They are alongside other illegal Chinese and Vietnamese who have arrived here through Europe.

Six Chinese were caught at Dublin Airport, without documentation, apparently having flown in from Spain last week.

The Chinese-run cannabis factories spread from England, through Scotland and into Northern Ireland before being established in the Republic.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Polish national charged with rape

A MAN has been charged with raping a young woman in a public toilet.

The 35-year-old Polish national appeared before a special sitting of Kanturk District Court in Co Cork at 11.15pm on Thursday evening after being arrested by gardai for a second time earlier in the day.

He was formally charged with raping the woman at the Church Street public toilets in Kanturk on March 9.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Asylum seekers living 'in fear'

Women and children seeking asylum are living in overcrowded and outdated centres where they fear for their safety and face intimidation and racism, it was claimed today.

An African women’s group maintained residents are sexually harassed and are in fear of private management firms who control the country’s 52 reception centres.

AkiDwA said almost 3,000 women and young girls live in reception centres while their application for asylum is being processed - some for up to six years.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mongolian woman gets suspended sentence for smuggling cigarettes

A Mongolian mature student has escaped deportation and has received a two-year suspended sentence for smuggling €12,400 of cigarettes into Ireland.

Batchullun Pureevjal (aged 33) with an address at College Gate, Townsend Street, Dublin 2, pleaded guilty to possessing 39,000 cigarettes in her luggage, with intent to defraud the State, at Dublin Airport on December 27, 2006.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Egyptian fraudster removed from nurses' register

The High Court has ordered the removal of a nurse’s name from her professional body’s register over her conviction of a €730,000 insurance fraud arising from a false breast cancer claim.

Nurse Gehan Massoud (47) and her surgeon husband, Emad Massoud (54), were found guilty by a jury in March 2008 of defrauding two insurance companies through lodging false claims on the basis of a tissue sample from Mrs Massoud’s mother, who had just been diagnosed in Egypt as having breast cancer. They claimed the sample came from Gehan Massoud herself.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Marriages of 200 non-EU men under investigation

GARDAI suspect bogus companies are being set up to provide fake employment credentials for eastern European women who are brought to Ireland to take part in arranged marriages. A number of companies are under investigation after gardai came across them during an operation aimed at clamping down on arranged marriages.

The emergence of the racket provides further evidence that organised gangs are "selling" brides who are citizens of the European Union to non-European men, so they can secure residency in Ireland through marriage.

The women are typically recruited in poorer eastern bloc countries and are offered money to come to Ireland to marry failed asylum seekers or former students from Asia whose visas have run out, according to garda sources.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

South African gets 7 years for possessing cannabis

A MAN has received a seven-year prison sentence after a jury earlier this week found him guilty of having more than €134,000 worth of cannabis in October 2006.

The drugs were in a box from Pretoria, South Africa, marked books and printed matter which was intercepted by Customs.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

An Post takes action over racist e-mail

AN POST has confirmed that it has begun disciplinary proceedings against a number of employees after a racist e-mail was circulated within the company.

The e-mail stated: “If you cross the North Korean border illegally, you get 12 years hard labour. If you cross the Iranian border illegally, you are detained indefinitely. If you cross the Afghan border, you’re shot. Saudi Arabian border you’ll get jailed. All sorts of terrible things will happen to you if you cross almost every other border except the Irish border.”

“If you cross the Irish border illegally you get a job, a driver’s licence, social insurance card, money from the social security, food stamps, credit cards, subsidised rent or a loan to buy a house, free education and free healthcare.”

Comparing the asylum system to a game show, it noted: “We’ve already given away hundreds of millions of euros . . . courtesy of the sponsor, the Irish taxpayer.”

Friday, March 12, 2010

17 failed asylum seekers deported

The deportation flight is the second to leave Dublin in a week bound for Lagos, Nigeria.

On March 3rd, 21 people were returned to Nigeria as part of an operation organised through EU agency Frontex, based in Warsaw.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Thousands of marriages 'illegal'

Thousands of foreign couples who married at their country’s embassies in the Republic over the past three years are being told their marriages are invalid and illegal.

The problem has sparked a diplomatic row between the Government and several EU states, which have asked Spain – current holder of the EU presidency – to mediate on their behalf. The decision by the Government also affects the citizens of non-EU states, whose embassies conduct marriage ceremonies.

Last week the General Register Office wrote to all foreign embassies informing them that marriages performed by diplomatic missions were not recognised as marriages unless they conformed to Irish law. The note said marriages would not be legal unless they were performed by an authorised registrar and took place in a registered building which was open to the public.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Seven held over plot to kill cartoonist

Gardaí have arrested seven suspects in Waterford and Cork as part of an international investigation into an alleged plot to murder a cartoonist who drew images of the Prophet Muhammad.

The four men and three women - all of whom are foreign nationals – were arrested in a major search operation by Garda specialist units this morning.

The Irish Times understands most of those arrested are from Algeria, Croatia, Libya, the United States and Palestinian, and that they are legally resident in Ireland.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Asylum services cost state €206m in 2008

THE cost to the state of delivering asylum services is expected to reach €206m for 2008 and less again for last year.

The Department of Justice has revealed that the out-turn for accommodation costs for the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) for 2008 is €91.47m.

It is expected that this will fall when the final 2009 figure is calculated to closer to €86.5m.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Congolese man jailed for importing cannabis

A Congolese national with Belgian citizenship has received a five-year sentence with three suspended for importing €17,800 of cannabis herb to Ireland.

Bonza Chigeragere (aged 28) with an address at Nicholas Avenue, Dublin 7 pleaded guilty to importation and possessing the drugs in his luggage at Dublin Airport on May 9, 2009.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Illegals posing as children at our airports

PLANES landing at Dublin Airport are being routinely searched to root out illegal immigrants intending to pass themselves off as children in the hope that they will be taken into care, rather than deported.

The Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) has stepped up its monitoring of incoming flights in response to what it says is a growing phenomenon in which young adults, many from China, are trying to slip through Ireland's immigration laws by posing as children.

Under Irish law, children under the age of 18 who arrive in Ireland unaccompanied gain automatic entry by being placed in the care of the Health Service Executive.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Migrant workers 'get less favourable treatment'

FOREIGNERS are only half as likely as Irish nationals to have favourable working conditions here, new figures reveal.

And those working in the hotel and restaurant sector are faring badly, with the worst rate of access to favourable working conditions in every category.

Almost twice as many non-Irish nationals did not expect to be in their current job in six months, as compared to Irish workers. The Central Statistics Office (CSO) yesterday published its national household survey on working conditions for the first quarter of 2008.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Migrants shunned for points on licence

Immigrants convicted of minor road offences are being barred from becoming citizens, it was claimed today.

Social justice campaigners said the citizenship process appeared designed to turn away migrants rather than welcome them.

The Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI), which will hold a think-in tomorrow on migration and identity at University College Dublin, called for an overhaul of the system to make it fairer and more efficient.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Nationalist group opposed to immigration may set up party

A new grouping, billing itself as the Irish National Party (INP), is dedicated to the "immediate deportation of all illegal immigrants and asylum seekers who have had their applications rejected."

It also believes Irish culture and identity is being eroded, with "record levels of immigration and an influx of so-called 'asylum seekers'... leading to the development of minority communities in our cities and increasing levels of social isolation in our towns and villages."

Saturday, February 20, 2010

United Ireland "must be placed on political agenda"

A united Ireland is "not impossible" and must be put on the British and international political agenda, a Sinn Féin representative said today.

Delivering the opening address at a conference hosted by the party in London to discuss Irish unity, MP Pat Doherty hailed the agreement at Hillsborough reached earlier this month as "part of a process of change".

He said: "Our goal is simply stated: an end to the partition of Ireland; an end to the union with Britain and the construction of a new national democracy; a new republic on the island of Ireland and reconciliation between orange and green."

750 Saudi students enrol

Around 750 Saudi Arabian students will enrol at a new college in Dublin when it opens in the grounds of a landmark hotel complex, it was announced yesterday.

The Citywest Institute of Education in south Dublin will welcome its firstpupils in April after securing a lucrative €250 million contact with the Ministry of HigherEducation in Saudi Arabia.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Call for asylum system shake-up

The current system for accommodating asylum seekers puts their basic human rights at risk and should be scrapped, campaigners have said.

But the Free Legal Advice Centre (Flac) said the system had failed to provide many of those seeking refuge with adequate funds, food and living standards.

At its One Size Doesn't Fit All report launch in Dublin, the group called for the abolition or radical reform of the policy and a major hike in the weekly allowance for applicants.

There are currently around 6,640 people living in direct provision.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Nigerian 'king' lost Tesco job because of regal duty

A Nigerian king-in-waiting who was fired after he overstayed a Tesco time-off deal for regal duties in his home village has been awarded €10,000 compensation for unfair dismissal.

Mr Agbaje, who said he is now a taxi driver taking home €31 a week after expenses, had started work with Tesco in May 2006. Speaking at his home in Co Offaly yesterday, Mr Agbaje expressed disappointment at the level of the tribunal settlement.

As he comes from royal lineage, Mr Agbaje had been required to carry out ceremonies in his native village in preparation for his ascendancy to the throne.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Immigrants unable to renew permits over admin blunder

THOUSANDS of immigrants are terrified they could yet lose their eligibility for citizenship after they found themselves unable to renew their residency permits over the past six weeks.

Parents of Irish-born children, who have to renew these permits every three years. were being turned away by gardaí this year even though INIS had taken advertisements in newspapers last December saying that GNIB and local immigration offices were now taking charge of processing the permits. Up to 17,000 immigrants have this IBC/05 status due to their children’s Irish birth.

Such immigrants cannot legally work in this country without an up-to-date permit and the Immigrant Council of Ireland say several have contacted them to say they have lost their jobs over a lack of up-to-date documentation.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Libyan teen sentenced for threat

A Libyan teenager who threatened to follow an employee of the Refugee Reception and Integration Office home and burn down her house after his request for accommodation was refused has been given a partly suspended sentence.

Hisham Ali Saad (aged 19) became frustrated and overwhelmed at the asylum system following his arrival in Ireland alone in 2008 after his brother was shot dead during an anti-Gadaffi protest in Libya.

Official IRA decommissions

A second republican paramilitary group in the North announced today that it had decommissioned its weapons.

The so-called Official IRA, a relatively small organisation most active in the 1970s, confirmed it had destroyed its guns.

The declaration was made at a Belfast press conference which came only two hours after a separate republican splinter group, the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), confirmed it had disarmed.

INLA decommissioning confirmed

The Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) confirmed announced today that it has decommissioned its weapons.

The republican paramilitary group, believed to have been responsible for the deaths of more than 100 people during the Troubles, confirmed it has disposed of its illegal arsenal in recent weeks through the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD).

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Pole gets five life sentences for rape

A 45-year-old man, who raped a woman after tying her boyfriend up with rope and duct-tape, has been given five life sentences at the Central Criminal Court.

Edward Piotrowski, who is from Poland, but has an address at Clonmullen Hall, Edenderry, Co Offaly, told his victim during the two-and-a-half-hour ordeal that he would kill her and her partner.

Immigrant involvement in prostitution

The millions flowing out of the country through foreign prostitution rackets have been revealed in a garda investigation into a Chinese prostitute who transferred more than a million euro to China over the past two years.

Almost the entire sex industry in Ireland relies on mobile phone contact and internet advertising and involves foreign nationals, most of whom are transferring their money out of the country.

The busiest internet site, Escorts Ireland, advertises hundreds of phone contacts, at least 230 of which are in Dublin. And the majority of prostitution rings in Ireland involve foreign nationals.

Cost of deportations

THE deportation of a single asylum-seeker cost more than €35,000, the Department of Justice has confirmed.

The man was one of 193 asylum-seekers removed from the state in the first nine months of last year at a total cost of €520,925.

The average cost of deporting failed asylum-seekers is now in the region of €2,700 although that does not include the cost of garda overtime and subsistence.

According to the Department of Justice, a total of €927,091 was spent on deportations in 2008, primarily to Africa and eastern Europe.

'Nigerian mother Izevbekhai's document is another forgery'

THE state will claim in the Supreme Court this week that the latest documentation supplied to the court by a Nigerian woman claiming her daughter died from female genital mutilation (FGM) is another forgery, the Sunday Tribune can reveal.

Mother-of-two Pamela Izevbekhai has enlisted a new lawyer to represent her in the Supreme Court on Thursday in a bid to prevent the deportation of her family.

The tab the taxpayer has picked up for Izevbekhai's case has surpassed €1m

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Only a quarter of deportation orders carried out

ONLY a quarter of deportation orders issued last year were actually carried out, figures from the department of Justice have revealed.

In 2009, Minister for Justice, Dermot Ahern signed 939 deportation orders, but only 236 were carried out.

Looking at the figures over five years shows that between 2003 and 2008, only 2,431 of 8,960 deportation orders issued were implemented.

The Department of Justice admitted it did not know how many of these people were still here.

Muslim group urges acceptance of niqab

THE IRISH Council of Imams, a group which represents Muslims living in Ireland, has spoken out against attempts to ban the niqab elsewhere in Europe and called on members of the religion to contribute positively to the societies in which they are living.

The council said that a ban on the niqab – a veil worn by Muslim women that covers everything except the eyes – violates personal freedoms guaranteed by democratic systems.

It added that such bans also constitute an obstacle to multiculturalism, integration and human rights.

Immigrants on the dole

One in three people signing on last month was an immigrant worker.

An extra 3,876 foreigners joined the live register in January compared with 9,465 Irish people, the new Central Statistics Office figures show.

Some 18.6pc of the 437,000 on the live register are now non-Irish nationals, a total of 81,395, though they comprise just 14.7pc of the workforce.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Three illegal workers arrested in NI

Three suspected illegal workers have been arrested in Northern Ireland.

Two Indians and one Bangladeshi man were detained following a house search in Newry, Co Down.

The two Indians had overstayed their visit visas and were arrested as they tried to escape through the back garden of the house. The Bangladeshi man had a fraudulently obtained UK passport.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ill Nigerian girl spared deportation

A seriously-ill Nigerian girl has been spared deportation tonight when officials agreed to review her family's case.

The Department of Justice confirmed that Ayodola Adekunle (5) and her family were granted a last-minute reprieve after her legal team intervened.

She suffers from sickle-cell anaemia and had her spleen removed more than a year ago, leaving her susceptible to infections and malaria.

The family - who have exhausted all legal channels of the asylum process - were due to be deported tonight.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Trafficking of children 'is a reality'

A LEADING children's charity has called on health service bosses to recognise the "reality" of child trafficking in Ireland.

Concerns were raised after figures showed more than 500 unaccompanied children seeking asylum vanished while in the care of the State over the past 10 years.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Asylum seekers' residence under investigation

THE HIGH Court has been told that allegations by a man about the operation of an asylum seekers’ residence are the subject of a Garda investigation.

The allegations include a claim that the manager of Richmond Court Accommodation Centre in Longford, Fine Gael councillor James Keogh, had paid money and made promises to residents there in return for their votes in last year’s local elections.

He also made formal complaints about “inedible” food at the centre, gathering signatures from 22 others and said people had become ill after eating.

There was no security at the centre and a member of staff had adopted a consistently hostile attitude towards him, he said.

Man guilty of holding two false passports

A PAKISTANI man (27) was yesterday convicted of possessing two false passports after being arrested as part of a Garda operation targeting alleged marriages of convenience.

Gardaí have also objected to his wedding going ahead under the Civil Registration Act. He was due to get married in Letterkenny, Co Donegal on Thursday.

Muhammad Shafi, College View Apartments, Ballymun, appeared before Judge Hugh O’Donnell at Blanchardstown District Court in Dublin.

Shafi’s conviction follows a major investigation launched by immigration officers into “sham marriages” in the Republic.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Each bid to deport asylum seekers to go to court - judge

A NIGERIAN woman’s successful Supreme Court case will in practice ensure every attempt to deport a failed asylum seeker will end in the courts, “which are already swamped by such cases”, Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman said.

Asylum cases represent more than half of judicial review cases, and the majority decision in favour of Abosede Oluwatoyin Meadows, who claims risk of female genital mutilation (FGM) if deported, would make seeking judicial review “much easier”, he said. In his 100-page dissenting judgment, he said the case represented “a major revolution in our immigration arrangements” and administrative law.

Haiti victims should be allowed settle here, says FG

VICTIMS of the Haitian earthquake should be allowed to re-settle in Ireland, Fine Gael yesterday urged

The party’s overseas aid spokesman Billy Timmins said a glut of empty properties across the country could be used to house survivors of the disaster that is estimated to have left 200,000 people dead and 3 million displaced in the poverty-stricken Caribbean nation.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Irish far right groups remain on the margins of political life

Although those charged in connection with the string of attacks and the distribution of racist leaflets – which allegedly originated with the British Combat 18 far right group – have been teenagers, the campaign is believed to have been supported by former Loyalist paramilitaries.

Racist incidents in Europe and Britain are often connected to far right groups and their more respectable political organisations have undoubtedly in recent years been making electoral gains. No openly racist or fascistic organisation has garnered serious electoral support in either part of Ireland, however.

The only exception is Ailtiri na hAiseirghe, which won nine seats in the June 1945 elections in the Republic. But in recent years, the country’s changing social make-up has seen right-wing anti-immigrant elements attempting to take political advantage.

Former Northern Irish IRA prisoner, Gerry McGeough, attempted to politically organise around anti-immigrant sentiment in conjunction with former Youth Defence leader, Justin Barrett.