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.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Migrants from new EU states 'denied welfare'

INCREASING NUMBERS of migrant workers from new EU states are being unfairly denied access to social welfare payments because residency rules are applied inconsistently, a charity has claimed.

The charity issued the warning as new figures showed the Government spent €151,863 on flights to repatriate 663 EU nationals who became destitute last year.

Some 394 Romanians and 93 Poles were sent home under the repatriation scheme for destitute EU-12 nationals, which was introduced by the Government for EU nationals who are not entitled to access social welfare payments.


Gardaí accused of racial discrimination

GARDAÍ have been accused of racial discrimination following the release of EU research which found Sub-Saharan Africans are twice as likely to be subjected to police stops than other members of the public.

The European Union Minorities and Discrimination Survey found in a 12-month period 59% of Africans surveyed had been stopped at least once by gardaí. One in three eastern Europeans were stopped at least once in the same period. More than 1,000 Sub-Saharan Africans and eastern Europeans were surveyed.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Deportation rate doubles for failed asylum seekers

THE deportation rate for failed asylum seekers almost doubled in the past year, new figures show.

This resulted in a total of 236 deportations to non-EU countries in 2009, compared with 129 in the previous year.

Figures published officially today also show that an additional 202 failed asylum seekers, who would otherwise have been removed from the State, opted for help in returning home voluntarily.

And another 243 asylum applicants were transferred to other European states after being caught "asylum shopping", where they seek status as a refugee in two or more countries.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Call for action on asylum ‘mess’

The number of asylum applications received by the Department of Justice in 2009 fell by 35% when compared with 2008. But funding for the asylum and immigration service during the same period was up by 16%.

Fine Gael Immigration and Integration spokesman Denis Naughten said, "We need a determined approach to deal with the present mess and I’m calling on the minister for justice to prioritise this area in the interests of the taxpayer. By streamlining the existing asylum system, treating people with dignity and in a timely manner, we could save the taxpayer a small fortune."

Mr Naughten said, "The additional costs associated with asylum accommodation in 2009 ran at €50,000 a day more than originally projected; this is on top of a cost over-run in 2008 of €40,000 a day".