Ireland: Irish Justice Minister forced to back down on deportation

McDowell to allow Nigerian to return

We reproduce below an article from the RTE news website which outlines the huge back down by the Irish Justice Minister over the case of recently deported Nigerian school student Olunkunle Eluhanla whose case was taken up by Socialist Party TD, (MP) Joe Higgins, the Socialist Party in Ireland, and the Democratic Socialist Movement in Nigeria. School students from Kunle’s school organised a spontaneous demonstration to the Dail (Parliament) in Dublin soon after his deportation.

socialistworld.net

Irish Justice Minister forced to back down on deportation

RTE News

March 24, 2005 11:11

The Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell, is to allow a Nigerian student who was deported last week to return to Ireland to take his Leaving Certificate examinations.

Olunkunle Eluhanla was sent back to Lagos on a special chartered flight from Dublin along with 35 other Nigerians.

This morning, Mr McDowell said the decision had been wrong and he was sorry for it.

He said he had reflected on it overnight and had decided that the Irish Government will issue the Nigerian with a six-month student visa to allow him finish his studies.

He said this was a one-off decision and would not set a precedent.

Speaking to RTÉ News, Mr Eluhanla said he was grateful and happy with the minister’s decision. He added that he has not yet decided what to do once his visa expires.

The Assistant Principal of Palmerstown Community School, where Olunkunle is a student, has also welcomed the news.

Anthony Wilkie said staff and students were delighted that Olunkunle was being given an opportunity to sit his Leaving Certificate.

He also paid tribute to the students who had campaigned for his return.

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