02 June 2005

RTE News

Romanian seven-year-old to be repatriated

02 June 2005 21:21

A seven-year-old boy left behind in Tralee, Co Kerry, after his parents and four-year-old brother were sent back to Romania as part of a mass deportation, is being cared for by his aunt.

He is to remain with his aunt overnight, while gardaí from the Garda National Immigration Bureau prepare to repatriate him to Romania to be reunited with his family.

Gardaí have confirmed that 58 asylum seekers, all Romanian, were arrested yesterday and deported on a charter flight from Dublin Airport to Bucharest.

There were 40 men, ten women, and eight children on board the charter flight. The deportees were arrested yesterday around the country, but mostly in Dublin.

Many were deported under the new fast track asylum process. Under these rules, applications from five countries, including Romania, are processed within three weeks of being made.

Others had been turned back on attempting to enter the country, had been refused leave to remain after going through the application process here or had withdrawn their applications for asylum.

A spokeswoman for the Tralee Refugee Support Group has said there has been a fierce reaction to the deportation.

Grainne Landers said that at around midday yesterday, the parents and four-year-old son of the family went to the local garda station to sign in, as is normal for asylum seekers facing the threat of deportation.

However, they had no idea that their deportation was going to go ahead yesterday.

Ms Landers said the three were arrested, put in a patrol car and brought to the Holy Family School in the town where their eldest son attends class. However, when they got there they found that the child had been removed from the school.

According to Ms Landers, gardaí then drove the other three members of the family to Dublin, from where they were deported last night.

Ms Landers said the family had been living in the Co Kerry town for three years. She said they were very well integrated and were popular amongst the community.

She said they had been through the application process for asylum, and had failed. She added that they were preparing an application for humanitarian leave to remain.

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