ADI Report /Publication

The human and economic costs of deportation

Dublin, 2012


The deportation of so called failed asylum seekers and illegal migrants, like their detention and dispersal, has become an integral part of migration policies in Ireland reflecting a wider European trend. While deportation has been legitimised as a cornerstone of immigration control and naturalized as a routine procedure, this report for Anti Deportation Ireland, highlights the human costs of deportation, focusing on the trauma, suffering, unjust and brutal treatment experienced by deportees and their families. Anti-Deportation Ireland (ADI) is a national network of activists, asylum seekers, refugees, community workers, trade unionists, and academics who have come together to campaign against forced deportation in Ireland, and for the abolition of the direct provision system.

The main findings of this preliminary report are outlined below:
-       Deportation is an extremely traumatic experience for those who are forcibly removed and for their families, friends and members of the communities into which they have integrated. The conditions under which people are deported are inhumane and degrading often involving the use of violent methods of restraint and psychological intimidation.
-       One in five people deported from Ireland since the start of 2010 were children. Deporting children, who may have been born in Ireland and never been to the countries they are being returned to, is a hardly justifiable practice.
-       Deportations are ineffective. The argument that they ensure the integrity of the immigration regime is highly speculative. The relevant gap between deportation orders issued and deportations orders effected not only proves the point but also shows that an increasing number of people are living in precarious conditions of ‘deportability’ experiencing its attendant consequences in terms of lack of rights, anxiety, stress and inability to carry on with one’s life.
-       Deportations are hugely costly. The overall cost of removing 280 persons from Ireland in 2011 was in excess of €1 million.
-       The lack of independent monitoring procedures also raises serious concerns in relation to how deportations are carried out.
-       The lack of follow-up or tracking procedures means that there is very limited knowledge of what happens to deportees after they are deported. However some journalists and scholars have provided evidence of deportees experiencing extreme socio-economic marginalisation, mental health and substance abuse issues, and even torture and incarceration in the countries to which they are returned.
-       International reports have criticised Ireland for detaining people awaiting deportation and/or for immigration related reasons in ordinary prisons, questioning the legal basis of such practice, the lack of legal safeguards for immigration detainees and their treatment in detention.
-       There is very limited scope to challenge deportation decisions in Ireland because there is no independent appeals body.
-       The practice of deporting individuals who may have an EU or Irish spouse/partner constitutes a breach of the EU free movement directive.
-       Despite the State’s claims that the direct provision system provides the best value for money, all international and national research available is consistent in showing that the system violates asylum seekers’ basic rights to housing, family life, food, health, work and education.  Considering that the system fails to ensure an adequate standard of living, the level of expenditure associated with it is unacceptable.


‘The word banish rhymes with vanish. Through banishment or deportation there is literal threat of invisibility. Not only when the event is concretized, but in the anguish and the uncertainty leading to that. Made invisible. Made meaningless. Superfluous. To others. To ourselves’ (Margaret Randall, quoted in Peutz, 2010)

Deportation, like detention and dispersal, has become an integral part of migration control in Europe and part ‘of the everyday experience of hundreds of thousands of people across Europe’ (Bloch and Schuster, 2005: 492). Because deportation has become so ‘embedded within the contemporary administrative practice of Western states’, it has not be subjected to the same critical scrutiny as immigration and refuge policies (Walters, 2002: 266). While deportation has been naturalized as a routine and administrative procedure, this report highlights the human costs of such practice, focusing on the trauma, suffering, unjust and brutal treatment experienced by deportees, their families and the communities from which they are forcibly removed.
In this report, for Anti Deportation Ireland (ADI), we outline, firstly, the legal and financial background for deportations from Ireland. We then highlight the effects of deportation orders and actual deportations for the people concerned. Finally we look at the fate of deportees, before outlining ADI’s demands.
The rationale behind deportation is the state’s alleged need to preserve the ‘integrity’ of the immigration regime and to avoid the ‘abuse’ of the asylum system. This view is upheld by the Irish State. In response to an article written by Ronit Lentin for Metro Éireann arguing against deportations, Minister for Justice Alan Shatter replied that deportation remains ‘an unfortunate but necessary component of a balanced and fair immigration system… For the Irish State to relinquish its right of deportation, subject of course to our laws and to human rights obligations, would subvert the principles of fairness and due process which are cornerstones of our immigration system’ (Shatter, 2012: 10).
Since the 1990s the deportation of what the state dubs as ‘failed’ asylum seekers and other ‘illegal’ migrants has increased exponentially all across Europe and Ireland has joined in this trend, albeit a decade later, as Table 1 below demonstrates.

Table 1: deportation and transfer orders
Deportation orders made
Deportation orders effected
Transfer orders effected*
not available
Not available




Source: Department of Justice, Equality and Defence
* Numbers refer to asylum seekers who were transferred to the EU member state in which they first applied for asylum under the Dublin Regulation introduced in February 2003.
It is worth highlighting that the number of deportation orders effected in respect of asylum seekers reached its peak in 2004 and started to decline in the following years. However since 2008 this trend has reversed and numbers are increasing despite the fact that asylum applications have been falling steadily since 2002. For instance the number of asylum applications received in 2011, 1,250, (see Table 2 below) represented a 28% decrease on the corresponding figure of 1,939 in 2010. Yet 280 deportation orders were effected, representing an increase of 33 (8.5%) over the number of orders effected in 2010. It also worth mentioning that the enforcement rate for deportation orders in Ireland, that is deportations orders effected as a proportion of deportation orders signed is above the European average. The Irish state also distinguishes itself for the extremely low number of asylum claims which receive positive decisions. [1] The Irish Times reported that ‘[t]he Irish acceptance rate for refugees is the lowest in the EU at 1.5 per cent at first instance and 6 per cent on appeal, significantly below the average EU recognition rate of 27 per cent, a matter that has attracted much adverse international comment’ (Coulter, 2012)[2].

Table 2: Number of asylum applications 1999-2011

Source: Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner

Yet, as Liza Schuster (2003) argues, deportations represent a paradox. From the state’s point of view, the reason for continuing deportations, despite the fact that they are expensive in both financial and human terms, is that they are both ineffectual and essential.
Deportations send out a strong sign, namely that states can control their boundaries and ‘remove from their territory those without a right to remain’, thus ‘assuaging public opinion, which would not view the state’s incapacity in this area with equanimity’. Schuster argues, however, that the assumption that the threat of deportation creates fear and may persuade some to return ‘voluntarily’ is speculative (Schuster, 2003: 253). In fact the threat of deportation and draconian immigration and asylum polices do not so much curb immigration but have the effect of multiplying various states of precariousness, anxiety, and danger, facilitating illegal immigrants’ exploitation as cheap and unprotected labour; forcing refugees to take even more dangerous escape routes, and lining the pockets of unscrupulous smugglers and traffickers.

The term ‘deportation’ broadly refers to ‘[t]he act of a State in the exercise of its sovereignty in removing an alien from its territory to a certain place after refusal of admission or termination of leave to remain’ (IOM, 2004). Forced removal is undertaken against illegal entrants, overstayers and those who have had their asylum claim rejected. In theory, in the latter case, deportation can only occur after the courts have satisfied themselves that the life or freedom of the rejected applicant is not in danger. Even though the terms ‘forced removal’ and ‘deportation’ are often used interchangeably (both in the scholarly literature and in this report), they may describe different administrative and legal procedures.
In Ireland there are three different processes for the forced removal of ‘non-nationals’: deportation, removal and Dublin II transfers. While this reports deals only with deportation a brief definition of removal and Dublin II transfers is provided below.
Removal refers to the procedure of return (endorsed in section 5, Immigration Act 2003) applicable to individuals refused permission to enter Ireland. Refuse to entry may be linked to a variety of reasons and a removal decision, unlike a deportation order, does not forbid re-entry to Ireland. The grounds on which entry may be refused are set out in the Immigration Act 2004, section 4. Also people who evade immigration controls or overstay can be subject to removal procedures. Within the first three months of their stay they can be removed under a purely administrative procedure (see Immigration Act 2003, section 5).
Dublin II transfers apply to individuals who have already made an asylum application in an EU member state, prior to their arrival in Ireland, and are returned to the state where they made their first application.

The main legislative instrument regulating deportation procedures is the Immigration Act 1999, section 3, enforced by section 5. Deportation orders are issued when individuals do not exercise the option available to them to leave the State voluntarily when they have no permission to remain. Even though the majority of people who are deported are so-called ‘failed’ asylum seekers (Deegan, 2012), any non Irish national who fails to comply with the laws of the State, especially immigration requirements, can be deported (Quinn, 2007).
A deportation order is signed by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence (formerly Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform) and ‘allows the deportee to be forcibly removed from the State and it requires the deportee to remain outside the State for ever, irrespective of the circumstances giving rise to its making’ (Quinn, 2007: xii). Before the order is issued, the person is sent a 15 days letter [3] outlining the options available: to make representations to the Minister for leave to remain, to consent to the deportation order, to leave voluntarily (either independently or through assisted programmes run by the International Organisation for Migration [IOM]). All these options are valid for 15 working days. After this time elapses a deportation order can be signed. The majority of people opt to make representations to the Minister outlining why they should be granted leave to remain in the state. Processing times for an application can last years and assessment procedures have been criticised by NGOs, legal practitioners and migrant support groups for lacking transparency and inconsistency. Furthermore very few applicants are actually given permission to stay at this stage.     
Once the Minister is satisfied that a negative decision does not breach the principle of non-refoulement, a deportation order can be signed. After this, the Repatriation Unit of the Department of Justice sends the individual concerned an ‘arrangements letter’ setting out the details of the deportation. The letter requests the person to report at Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) offices at a specified time. This serves as the formal serving of the deportation order (Quinn, 2007: 21). Once a deportation order is served, failure to comply or to collaborate with the GNIB may lead to detention with a view to secure departure.
In general deportation and removal procedures are operated domestically by the GNIB and the Department of Justice through direct international linkages with countries of destinations, airports, carriers and embassies. Forced removals take place by air, either through chartered or commercial flights or by sea (the GNIB only uses ferry ports located in the UK). In the last few years Ireland has also participated in several joint FRONTEX [4] return flights and started flight operations in conjunction with the United Kingdom (the first bilateral return flight took place in September 2010). In December 2011 Ireland signed an agreement with the UK to share information on visa applications, including fingerprinting, biometrics and biographical details, as part of a move designed to improve the visa-issuing process, and to work towards joint entry standards and enhanced electronic border systems. According to the UK Border Agency (UKBA) the agreement is also likely to create “considerable savings” for both countries on removing foreign nationals with no right to stay. According to the UK Immigration Minister Damian Green:  “This agreement will help us quickly refuse those with poor immigration records, identify asylum shoppers and speed up the removal process in those cases where people have entered the common travel area.”[5]
Not all deportations are effected: on the contrary just 20 to 30 per cent of deportations orders are actually carried out. This is mostly due to the fact that people cannot be traced (i.e. they ‘go underground’ or leave the state without contacting the authorities), but also to legal safeguards. Deportations orders can be challenged in the High Court by way of judicial review and become invalid if the Court rules so. However, the concerned person can still be deported while the judicial review proceedings are ongoing (unless an injunction from the Department not to enforce the deportation order has been requested).  Other reasons preventing enforcement may be the ill health of the deportee, an inability to identify the country of origin or the identity of deportees, and failure to obtain travel documents.


Detention is one consequence of the asylum and deportation regimes and part of the mechanism of control and confinement of populations ‘judged to be disreputable, derelict, and unwanted’ (Wacquant, 1999: 216). ‘Retention’ and ‘holding centres’, ‘waiting areas’ and similar ‘state-sponsored enclaves of non existent rights’ (Wacquant, 1999: 218) have proliferated in the past two decades throughout the European Union (Bloch and Schuster, 2005: 500; Jesuit Refugee Centre-Europe, 2010). Surrounded by walls of barbed-wired fencing and under constant video surveillance these ‘centres’ often function as ‘launching pads’ for the deportation of failed asylum seekers, undocumented migrants and people denied entry. These are ‘prisons that do not speak their name’ and conditions of confinement are often in violation of the law and human dignity (Wacquant, 1999: 218).
Ireland does not have detention centres for the exclusive housing of immigration detainees such as exist in the United Kingdom (UK) and other countries. Rather detainees are held in existing penal institutions run by the Irish Prison Service. Immigration detainees can also be held at Garda Síochána stations for a limited period of time not exceeding 48 hours or any more than two consecutive overnight stays.

3.1 Legal grounds for ‘immigration related’ detention

Detention for immigration purposes is sometimes referred to as administrative detention as it is detention without trial or conviction, and usually takes place to enable that a further administrative measure can take place (i.e. deportation or removal). In Ireland grounds for the administrative detention of non-citizens include: refusal of entry (Aliens Act 1946, Section 7); ensuring fulfilment of a deportation order (Immigration Act 1999, as amended by Illegal Immigrants Act 2000, Section 10); asylum requests that require certain types of investigations (Refugee Act 1996, Section 9.8); and unlawful presence in the country (Immigration Act 1999, Section 5) (Kelly, 2005). Persons over 18 who are refused permission to land may be arrested and detained pending their removal. Detainees are often kept for a brief initial period of time at a Garda station before being either returned to the carrier on which they arrived, or transferred to one of the nine prisons specified in immigration regulations (Kelly 2005, p. 20; Immigration Act 2003 (Removal Places of Detention), Regulations 2005). In addition, authorities can order masters of vessels entering Irish territory to detain on board “any such non-national, whether seaman or passenger, whose application for a permission has been refused by an immigration officer” (Immigration Act 2004, Section 7).          
Detention of asylum seekers is not common practice in Ireland, yet the Refugee Act 1996 section 9(8) makes provisions that authorize  An Garda Síochána to detain an asylum seeker if there is reasonable cause to suspect that the person: poses a threat to national security or public order; has committed a serious non-political crime; has not made reasonable efforts to establish his or her true identity; intends to avoid removal from Ireland in the event of his or her application for asylum being transferred to a convention country; intends to enter another state without lawful authority; or without reasonable cause has destroyed his or her identity or travel documents or is in possession of forged identity documents. Asylum seekers who are detained under Section 9(8) of the Refugee Act 1996 must be brought as soon as practicable before a District Court judge who, if satisfied that one or more of the grounds listed above apply, may commit the asylum seeker to an authorized place of detention for a period not to exceed 21 days from the time of the initial detention. This 21-day period can be extended by a District Court judge for additional periods of 21 days at a time if the judge believes that one of the grounds continues to apply. In reality, most asylum seekers are released within a short period of time to accommodation in hostels that are run by the Reception and Integration Agency (Jesuit Refugee Service-Europe, 2010: 240).
A person in respect of whom a deportation order has been made may be detained, if non-compliant, for the purposes of executing the order. Section 5(1) of the Immigration Act 1999 authorizes an immigration officer or a member of the Garda Síochána to arrest and detain a person with a final order of deportation if the individual concerned: has failed to comply with any provision of the order; intends to leave the country and enter another without lawful authority; · has destroyed his or her identity documents or is in possession of forged identity documents; or intends to avoid removal from the country. In such cases, a person can be arrested and detained without warrant (Jesuit Refugee Service, 2010: 242). Also persons who receive a Dublin II regulation transfer order are generally detained pending their removal.

3.2 Conditions of detention

In 2004 the Irish Refugee Council, the Immigrant Council of Ireland and the Irish Penal Reform Trust commissioned a research on immigration related detention (Kelly, 2005) in response to the increasing number of non-Irish nationals being administratively detained. The report sought to address queries concerning the ‘lack of clarity and knowledge on the rights and entitlements of these people, the legal basis for their detention and their treatment during the period of detention’. In the foreword to the report attention is brought to the fact that
‘[p]eople detained for immigration reasons are a particularly disadvantaged group - away from the public eye they may not have access to services which have been made available for immigrants, they may not be made aware of their rights and entitlements or may not be able to exercise them because of language and/or literacy difficulties. They may also experience problems due to cultural differences. These issues are compounded for detainees who are not entitled to legal aid’[6] (Kelly, 2005: 2).
Being accommodated in prisons with other people suspected and/or sentenced for having committed criminal offences can be extremely traumatic for immigration detainees who often have never experienced time in prison and/or may be unsure of the reasons why they are being detained and the length of their detention. Kelly’s report found problems with overcrowding, strict visiting arrangements, lack of information on legal entitlements and rights, racist abuse by inmates, and high level of anxiety and stress due to uncertainty about one’s future (Kelly, 2005). The practice of holding immigration detainees in Irish prisons has been repeatedly criticised by authorities including the Council of Europe, the Inspector of Prisons and Places of Detention, the National Prison Chaplains, the IRC, the Immigration Council of Ireland (ICI) and the Irish Penal Reform Trust (Kelly, 2005:8). In 2008 the Human Rights Committee advised that Ireland[7] ‘take immediate and effective measures to ensure that all persons detained for immigration related reasons are held in facilities specifically designed for this purpose.’ To date, this recommendation has not been implemented by the Irish government.
  1. COSTS

Deportations are hugely costly, and William Walters (2002: 266) suggests that thinking about the costs of deportations can help to unsettle the view of deportation as simply an administrative procedure of the immigration system and start to see it as an industry:
[i]nstead of an administrative procedure we are provoked into seeing it as a system which implicates all manner of agents –not just police and immigration officials, but airline executives, pilots, stewards, and other passengers. Most pointedly, we are reminded that private companies make money from this form of suffering (Walters, 2002: 266).[8]
The huge costs involved in deportations have attracted a lot of scrutiny internationally, and governments have been criticised for not only wasting lives but vast amounts of money in the pursuit of their exclusionary practices. [9] Answering a parliamentary question posed by Deputy Dara Calleary (Fianna Fáil), Minister Alan Shatter replied that in 2011 the overall cost of removing 280 persons from the State was slightly in excess of €1 million. [10]

4.1 Travel costs
The costs for deportation incurred by the Irish state in the years 2005-2010[11] and a more detailed breakdown for the years 2009-2012[12] are provided in the tables below. These figures include the travel costs relating to the deportees and their Garda escorts but not the cost of overtime or subsistence payments for Garda escorts.

Table 3: costs of deportation flights 2005-2010
Cost of scheduled/commercial and charter flights in €

Source: Dáil Eireann Debate , Vol. 711 No. 4

Table 4: breakdown of deportation costs

Source: Dáil Éireann Debate, Vol. 769, n.2

Travel costs are met by the Irish state, specifically out of the Garda budget (Quinn, 2007: 26). Some of the costs are refunded via co-financing through the European Return Fund.
As mentioned already, the extremely high costs involved in carrying out deportations, as well as the manner in which deportations are carried out, have received a lot of media coverage and attracted criticism in Ireland. The Irish Times reported that in February 2006 the State spent more than €250,000 on a specially chartered flight to deport 13 foreign nationals to China. [13] In March 2008 a Ghanaian man was removed by charter flight at a cost of €151,900.[14]  The Irish Times reported that a charter flight due to carry ‘failed’ asylum seekers from Dublin to Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo was cancelled at short notice in August 2011 at a cost of €362,000. The flight was also the subject of controversy at the time as a woman, who was among the deportees, had been treated for bleeding linked to an apparent miscarriage only a few hours before she was put on the plane (Horgan-Jones, 2011).

4.2 Legal and accommodation costs

Costs to the State associated with deportations should also take into account legal expenses when judicial review proceedings against a deportation order are won by an applicant and other expenses related to detention. The Irish Independent reported in December 2011 that
the Irish State is facing a potential bill of over €100m to fight injunctions granted by the High Court to 2,000 asylum seekers who are fighting enforced deportation…despite the mounting costs there appears to be no let-up in the State’s insistence of fighting all deportation injunctions which cost on average € 50,000 each. In a number of cases the State has sought costs against law firms… However, these “wasted costs” cases are being appealed to the Supreme Court at even more expense (Cusack, 2011).

Extra costs also relate to the fact that there are often delays between when a deportation order is signed and when it is acted upon (Gallagher, 2012), which means that failed applicants have to remain in the direct provision centres allocated to them while not being allowed to work (like other asylum seekers).[15] Even without considering the huge human costs caused by enforced poverty, physical and psychological isolation and socio-economic deprivation, allowing asylum seekers the right to work would not only be a more humane option but most probably represent a better investment. The EU commissioner for Human Rights, in his report on his visit to Ireland in November 2007,[16] called for the Irish State to allow temporary work permits for asylum seekers, in line with broader European policy, as a mean to strengthening their autonomy and providing revenues for the receiving country.
Despite claims that the direct provision system provides the best value for money (RIA, 2010), it is highly debatable that this is really the case. According to an article in the Irish Times, based on figures published by the Minister of Justice,  the Irish State spent €69.5 million housing and ‘caring’ for asylum seekers  in 2011, with the majority of funding used to pay for commercially owned housing (Gallagher, 2012).[17] Some €57.8 million of the total cost was spent funding 37 commercially owned direct provision centres across the country run by a small cluster of private contractors who have seen their annual turnover soar (FLAC, 2009). Some of the centres have come to the attention of NGOs and media for failing to provide even the most basic services like appropriate food and toiletries, for having poor standard of hygiene, and for the abusive, bullying and racist behaviour of staff and managers.  Despite all the evidence of the economic and human failure of DP policy, none of the 700 amendments to the Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill 2008 ‘concerned improving the position of asylum-seekers or overhauling the DP system. Rather, the new legislation aimed to expedite the processing of asylum claims, establishing detention centres, and accelerating procedures for deportation’ (Loyal, 2011:119-20). At the time of writing, some 5,169 asylum seekers are cared for by the State, down from 6,107 in 2010 (Gallagher, 2012).

5.1 Uncertainty/Anxiety
There is general agreement that deportation is an extremely traumatic experience for those who are removed and for their families, friends and members of the communities into which they have integrated. The conditions under which people are deported are inhumane and degrading and, in some European countries, have led directly to a number of deaths (Fekete 2005; Anderson et al, 2011). The power of deportation is manifested in more than its execution. People who have received a deportation order often experience high levels of anxiety and depression, may develop mental health and other medical conditions, or even resort to self-harm or/and contemplate suicide. Such issues are compounded by life in direct provision or detention. The United National Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has expressed concern at the negative impact of delays in determining asylum seekers’ cases. According to the Department of Justice, almost half of asylum seekers living in direct provision centres have been there for more than three years, and some have waited for more than five years for a decision (Cullen, 2011).
A report on immigration related detention in Ireland compiled for the Jesuit Refugee Service (2010) also highlighted that:
 [women detained in prison pending their removal] were especially anxious about the fact that they had no right to be informed of the date and time of their deportation. They were also concerned that they had no resources to fall back on once they arrived in their country, including something as basic as bus fare to travel to their homes (JRS-Europe, 2010)
Caroline Hurley, a Nigerian woman who fought a six-year legal battle before being granted leave to remain in Ireland compared her experience of living under the threat of deportation to ‘living with a death sentence over your head’ (Smyth, 2011).

5.2 Rupturing families

Deportation can rupture the unity of the family, especially when parents are deported without their children or/and when people are forced to take difficult decisions as to where the children should live. Often families break up following decisions by a legally resident parent (typically a mother) to stay in Ireland with her child when her partner is deported, or following the decision to take a child away when the parent is deported (Smyth, 2010a). According to Sue Conlan, CEO of the Irish Refugee Council ‘[t]he policy is very short-sighted… [i]t fails to recognise the importance of the family and the need for stability for the family and their part in wider Irish society’ (quoted in Smyth, 2010a). In 2009 Irish Times journalist Joe Cahill wrote that the government had been accused of “State-sponsored child abuse” for deporting a mother to Nigeria without her four-year-old son, who had been placed in State care. In this particular case the district court had refused an application from the Health Services Executive (HSE) to lift the care order to enable the child to accompany his mother ruling that ‘it was not in the best interest of the child’ (Cahill, 2009). Because the son was born after the coming into force of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 2004 he did not have the right to Irish citizenship.

5.3 Deporting children

The view that the state’s right to deport comes before the rights of migrant families and migrant children was made explicit by the Supreme Court in the 2003 Lobe and Osayande ruling, in relation to the rights of migrant parents of Irish citizen children, when Justice Susan Denham ruled that if the ‘common good’ requires it, ‘the Minister (for Justice) has the right  to terminate the residence in Ireland of non-national parents of Irish citizens, leading to either the break up of the family or the constructive deportation of the child citizen’ (Maddock and Mallon, 2003, emphasis added). This view has clearly not changed. On the contrary, in what seems like a ‘rush’ to deport asylum seekers, the State is now seeking to deport pregnant women before they give birth. In 2011 the Irish Independent reported the case of Azwara Aslam a 26 years old Pakistani woman who was arrested in Galway and brought to Mountjoy prison, with the view of being deporting, despite being 8 months pregnant. Highly distressed the woman had to be brought to hospital for fear she would go into labour prematurely. An emergency sitting of the High Court was held at night which resulted in an injunction against her deportation being granted (Cusack, 2011).

Deportation is particularly traumatizing for children, especially if they are born in Ireland and have never been to the countries they are being deported to. According to figures made available by the Department of Justice in the end of 2010 ‘one in five people deported from Ireland since the start of 2010 were children’ (Duncan, 2012). In 2007 a case involving a Nigerian child with autism received wide media coverage following the support campaign mounted by a number of concerned parties.[18] The campaign revolved around the fact that the boy had never been to Nigeria (having been born in Italy) and that there was a high risk he may be treated as an outcast in Nigeria and not receive proper educational support. Despite concerted efforts from Residents Against Racism, solicitors, teachers and ordinary citizens, the boy was deported to Nigeria with his mother and sister. Interviewed soon after her deportation, the mother told a newspaper that the child ‘had been severely distressed since his arrival. He's always screaming and blocking his ears. We can't go out on the street. I can't go out unless I get a taxi, and I don't have the money for taxis. There's so much noise and traffic, it's too much for him. He's still talking of Mandy, his special needs assistant. He wants to see Mandy". [19] Activist groups such as Residents Against Racism (RAR) have in the past organised specific campaigns against deportations often focusing on the fact that children were being removed by the Gardai directly from school and prevented from completing their exams.[20]

A number of Irish citizen children have been ‘effectively expelled’ in the last few years because their non-national parents have been deported (Smyth, 2010b). However more recently a number of deportation orders against parents of Irish citizen children have been quashed following a landmark judgment at the European Court of Justice (Smyth, 2011).  On 8 March 2011 the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled in the Zambrano case (C34/09), that an EU member state may not refuse the non-EU parents of a dependent child who is a citizen of, and resident in, an EU member state the right to live and work in that member state. While the impact of this decision for Irish law should not be underestimated, the number of people who may actually benefit from the application of this decision is limited due to the changes in Irish citizenship law following the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 2004 (which came into force on 1 January 2005). [21]
Answering a Dáil question regarding the number of cases covered by the Zambrano ruling in January 2012, Minister Shatter stated that approximately 1,700 cases had been identified where the Judgment may apply (this number refers only to cases where the third country national parents involved have no separate right of residency in the State by virtue of being residing lawfully in the state).[22] According to figures provided by the Department of Justice in March 2012, 1,680 persons had applied to the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) to have their case to remain in the State examined in accordance with the principles set out in the Zambrano Judgment. Decisions have been made in 925 cases with permission to remain in the State granted in respect of 791 of these cases. Another 148 cases in respect of which judicial review proceedings were ongoing, have been granted permission to remain in the State under the terms of the Zambrano Judgment.[23]
As legal expert Liam Thornton (2011) points out, questions remain in relation to the precise impact the Zambrano case will have:
Do the rights of the non-national parent continue to apply after the EU citizen child reaches the age of majority? To what extent will the judgment be applied to a non-marital family? Can a parent who does not have an involvement with the care and upbringing of the EU citizen child rely on the decision in Zambrano? What if an EU citizen child is being cared for and nurtured by a non-national guardian (blood related to the child or otherwise), does this guardian gain rights from the Zambrano decision?

Young people who arrived as unaccompanied minors and whose application has been refused also face a difficult situation knowing that they may receive a deportation order once they reach 18. This is a factor that, according to the Department of Children, may lead unaccompanied minors to leave the care of the HSE and go underground as they are nearing 18 (Duncan, 2012). Deporting young people who have been through a multiplicity of traumatic events, who have struggled to rebuild their social and support networks at a time in their lives when they should be looking forward to their future, is both cruel and unnecessary. These are people who spent the formative years of their lives in Ireland: to deport them means to take them away from their peers, friends and familiar environments that have shaped their identities. Deportation causes feelings of shame, pain connected to the re-enaction of trauma, damages career prospects and self-esteem, and renders young people (lacking financial resources and street savvy) vulnerable to different types of abuse.

5.4  Deporting EU citizens’ spouses/partners

The protection of marriage and family life is enshrined in Article 41 of the Irish Constitution. Article 42.1 and Article 42.5 also state that children have the right to be cared, reared and educated by both parents. However neither parentage to an Irish citizen child (see section 5.3) nor the fact of marriage to an Irish citizen have in themselves precluded deportation.
Removing individuals who have an EU or Irish partner does not only run counter constitutional principles but also constitutes a breach of the EU free movement directive[24]. In 2003 a High Court judge found that a Russian woman who married an Irish man in 2002 had been illegally deported. The judge granted an injunction restraining the Minister for Justice from preventing the woman from re-entering the State in reliance on that deportation order.[25] In March 2010 however the Irish state deported Christy Ogdeide Ryan, the 52-year-old Nigerian wife of a 68-year-old Irish man, and Henry Olabode, a Nigerian man married to an Irish woman in Athlone (Smyth, 2010a).  Also in 2010 the Immigrant Council of Ireland lodged a formal complaint with the European commission over the deportation of a Georgian man engaged to marry a UK national who was a permanent resident in Ireland (Gallagher, 2010). The Irish Time reported the case of a Nigerian architectural student, married to an Irish woman, who had successfully challenged his deportation made while the woman was pregnant. In this case the High Court found the Minister for Justice’s decision to deport the man effectively amounted to a permanent forcible separation of the family and ruled the Minister had not fairly weighed their family rights (Carolan, 2011).
Cases such as these clearly show inconsistencies and lack of transparency in the application of the law as well as the high level of discretion and individual bias characterising deportation decisions.
5.5 Lack of monitoring procedures
The ways deportations are carried out, and especially the use of brutal methods ranging from psychological intimidation to physical violence, have also raised serious concerns.
Men, women and children are often taken from the hostels in the early hours of the day, when they are still in their bed clothes and given as little as 15 minutes to gather their belongings. The necessity of pre-dawn raids cannot be justified but as a deliberate measure to confuse and intimidate deportees and a way to avoid public scrutiny, thus minimizing disruption from migrant supporting groups.
Irish NGOs have also commented negatively about the lack of monitoring procedures, poorly trained staff and the unnecessary use of violent or humiliating methods of control (Cunningham, 2004; Tyrrell, 2004). In December 2010 for instance, 34 Nigerian nationals and a two year old ‘Irish citizen’ child on a FRONTEX organised joint flight were returned to Ireland due to the development of technical troubles in Athens.[26]  According to the then Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern, this was the first time that such an event occurred.[27] On this occasion the Irish Refugee Council (IRC) addressed a letter to the Minister requesting an independent inquiry into the ‘inhumane and degrading treatment’ of deportees by immigration officers and lodged a complaint with the Garda Ombudsman Commission. [28] The letter noted that the eight women, thirteen children, and fourteen men had endured long delays, inadequate food and limited access to sanitary facilities during the flight.  Many of them had been taken from their homes in the early hours of the morning with little or no opportunity to properly dress or take personal belongings with them.  They were kept in a holding area at Dublin Airport for many hours until they were put on the FRONTEX flight along with other deportees from several EU states. The IRC also pointed that of the deporting countries on board the FRONTEX flight, Ireland was the only one to deport children. Throughout the flight, the individuals were not allowed to move freely or converse with others.  They were not allowed to close the door, when using the toilet (this applied to women who were on their menstrual period).  Children were forced to use bottles to urinate. One woman, a mother of two young children (one of them an Irish citizen), was physically restrained before being sedated.
On arrival at Athens airport, they remained on the flight for two hours before being taken to an airport lounge where they had to wait fourteen hours before being returned to Dublin.  They were given little refreshment during that period, while food and drinks where widely available to groups under the control of officers from other jurisdictions.  On return to Dublin on 16th December 2010, those not detained were required to live at Balseskin Reception Centre in Finglas, Dublin, despite the fact that, due to severe weather conditions, there was no running water from 16th until 20th December 2010.[29]
Answering a series of parliamentary questions in relation to the event, the Minister for Justice and Law Reform, Dermot Ahern replied that every effort had been made ‘to provide the persons on board the flight with appropriate refreshments and other facilities’. He added that his department, in conjunction with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) and the other members of FRONTEX had conducted a review of this operation and that he was satisfied that the deportation operation on 15 December 2010 was properly conducted and refused calls for an independent inquiry. [30]
In light of that experience and subsequent deportations, the IRC made several practical proposals to the state as to how deportations could be carried out in a more ‘humane’ manner. Nonetheless the system has remained the same and the Irish state has not entered into any discussions with the IRC or any other body which monitors deportations about alternative methods of effecting removals.[31]

5.6 Limited legal safeguards

Deportation orders can be issued without the Minister providing explanations/reasons as to why return does not infringe a person’s right to protection (section 5 of the Refugee Act 1996). [32] This situation is compounded by the fact that there is very limited scope to challenge deportation decisions in Ireland because there is no independent appeals body. Even though deportation orders can be subjected to judicial reviews, if there are substantial grounds to prove that the Minister failed to disclose the basis upon which specific claims for asylum were rejected, ‘a judicial review in the High Court is restricted to considering narrow points of law in how a decision was taken rather than considering the merits of the decision itself’ (Smyth, 2010b). This raises serious concerns that the law is stacked in favour of the interests of the State. The arbitrariness and prejudicial nature of decisions concerning asylum applications has been analysed in depth by Steven Loyal who argues that ‘political rather than objective criteria have consistently been used in deciding whether asylum-seekers are given refugee status’ (Loyal, 2011; 81). While the existence of an independent appeals mechanism – the Refugee Appeal Tribunal (RAT), established in 2000- should in theory guarantee that shortcomings are redressed, the tribunal has incurred in widespread criticism for the ‘culture of secrecy’ surrounding its decisions (Coulter, 2005). Serious concerns have also been raised about the conduct of individual members of RAT and the selection procedure.[33] In 2011 court proceedings were brought against the Tribunal on the basis of allegations of bias and unfairness in the determination of asylum appeals (Conlan, 2012; see also Coulter, 2012).[34] It is also important to remember that from the making of the application to be recognised as a refugee, to an appeal to the RAT, then consideration of a subsidiary protection claim and then the leave to remain claim, a person can wait as long as five  years. During this time and despite the dire conditions of living in direct provision, it is likely that asylum seekers continue to develop their family and private lives, build links within the communities and localities in which they live, become accustomed to life in Ireland, and undertake education. In such cases deportation represents a form of violent uprooting which damages both individuals and communities and, contrary to the government’s stated commitment to the policy of ‘integration’, disregards integration as it naturally unfolds in people’s everyday lives. A further aspect that has not been taken up in the literature is the trauma related to appeals procedures for deportees and their families.


It is hard to know what happens to people once they are deported as there are no official tracking or monitoring procedures. Not only little is known about the resettlement experiences of deportees but the long term effects of deportation on deportees’ lives are difficult to gauge. Nathalie Peutz, a US scholar who has written extensively on deportation, argues that:‘[t]he deportation of an individual may take only a few days, but the significance of this episode – replicating and engendering as it does histories of suffering and subjection –will continue to reverberate in the lives of the “deportees” and their kin’ (Peutz, 2010: 372). Furthermore, any attempt to justify deportation based upon the rightfulness of the law clearly fails to consider ‘the multiple violent paradoxes of being deported to one’s nominal place of origin after years of even a lifetime of living abroad, after political and social boundaries have been redrawn, after ethnicity and nationality have come undone’ (Peutz, 2010: 403).
In light of the increasing number of immigrants who are deported daily ‘it is necessary that the multiple and enduring effects of deportation – not only as a state practice but also as an individual and individualizing experience – be explored more fully’ (Peutz, 2010: 374). Yet it is difficult for immigrant and refugee support groups, as well as researchers, to assess such effects mainly because of the complexities involved in tracking and maintaining contact with deportees. Though the evidence is limited some organisations found that there have been cases of deportees being subjected to incarceration, torture and other forms of persecutions in their countries of return (Bloch and Schuster, 2005). On the 5th of June 2012, The Guardian reported the story of ‘Hari’, a victim of torture from Sri Lanka who had been deported from the UK after failing in his asylum claim despite documentary evidence from the International Committee of the Red Cross (Malik, 2012). Fearing for his life, Hari spent the first six months in hiding until he was taken by the Sri Lankan criminal investigation department and put in prison. Here ‘[he] was beaten, whipped with electric cables, suffocated with a plastic bag containing petrol, hung by his ankles by nylon rope and burned with cigarettes’ (Malik, 2012). Hari was eventually released after paying a bribe and fled to Russia and from here made his way back to the UK where he attempted suicide after hearing that his family had been threatened by security services. Although this case refers to the UK, it is not unlikely that deportees from Ireland may go through similar harrowing experiences.
Even when the experience of resettlement does not include physical violence, deportees are likely to experience a sense of displacement -engendered by the removal process and the dislocation of their social life (Alexander, 2004)- they may be stigmatised by their own families and communities and fail to integrate socio-economically because of lack of financial capital and work experience. Substance abuse and mental health problems, in some cases leading to self-harm and/or suicide, are not uncommon amongst individuals who have been deported. An ADI member, during our second meeting, reported the story of a doctor who committed suicide upon return to Nigeria.
In June 2005 RTE programme Prime Time tracked down four Nigerian children who went missing after their mothers, Iyabo Nwanze and Elizabeth Odinsi, had been deported to Nigeria with two of their children. Iyabo’s eight years old son Emmanuel told the reporter about having to move from house to house to avoid being taken into state care. The programme also found that Emmanuel’s brother had contracted malaria since his arrival in Lagos and that he, his mother and Elizabeth were sharing a two bedroom house with other six people (Lentin and McVeigh, 2006: 50)


The system of deportation is inefficient and involves huge cost to the taxpayer, while deepening the misery inflicted on asylum-seekers and other immigrants. This report details the massive costs of flights, legal fees and private security firms to the exchequer, and the human costs in terms of physical and emotional trauma experienced by individual deportees and their families. Anti Deportation Ireland firmly believes that deportation is inhuman, unnecessary and a violation of an individual's fundamental human rights, especially the right to seek and receive protection, the right to family life and freedom of movement. Anti Deportation Ireland’s specific demands are:

- An immediate end to all deportations
- The immediate abolition of the direct provision system
- The right to work for people seeking asylum

Alexander, J. C. 2004. ‘Toward a Theory of Cultural Trauma’, in J. C. Alexander, R. Eyerman, B. Giesen, N. Smelser and P. Sztompka (eds) Cultural Trauma and Collective Identity, pp. 1-3-, Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press
Anderson, B., M. J. Gibney and E. Paoletti, 2011. ‘Citizenship, Deportation and the Boundaries of Belonging’, Citizenship Studies, 15(5), 547-563.
Bloch, A. and L. Schuster, 2005. ‘At the Extremes of Exclusion: Deportation,  Detention and Dispersal, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 28 (3): 491-512.
Cahill, J. 2009. ‘Deportation of mother without boy condemned’, Irish Times, 21 December
Carolan, M. 2011. ‘Nigerian man and family win deportation challenge’, Irish Times, 26 October.
Conlan, S. 2012. ‘Political will needed for serious asylum reform’, Irish Times, 1 June.
Coulter, C. 2004. ‘Lawyer criticises assessment of refugees’, Irish Times, 20 November.
Coulter, C. 2005. ‘Looking for fairness and consistency in a secretive refugee appeals system’, Irish Times, 6 June.
Coulter, C. 2012. ‘Child asylum seeker takes bias case’, Irish Times, 11 April
Cullen, P. 2011. ‘Dáil told 49 asylum seekers took own lives’, Irish Times, 8 June.
Cunningham, G. 2004. ‘Refugee Council revises guidelines on deportations’, Irish Independent, 26 July.
Cusack, J. 2011. ‘State facing €100m bill to fight 2,000 asylum seeker deportation injunctions’, Irish Independent, 11 December.
Deegan, G. 2012. ‘Migrant remain in Ireland as flight returned’, Irish Times, 16 January.
Department of Justice and Law Reform. 2011. Annual Report 2010,
Duncan, P. 2010. ‘Children account for 20% of deportees’, Irish Times, 27 December.
Duncan, P. 2012. ‘Unescorted minors in care of HSE still missing’, Irish Times 3 January.
Fekete, L. 2005. ‘The Deportation Machine: Europe, Asylum and Human Rights’, Race &Class, 47(1): 64-91.
FLAC (2009), One Size Doesn't Fit All – A Legal Analysis of Direct Provision, 10 Years On, Dublin: FLAC.
Gallagher, R. 2010. ‘Man arrested and deported in the dead of night’, The Mayo News, 23 November.
Goldberg, D. T. 2002. The Racial State. Oxford: Blackwell.
Horgan-Jones, J. 2011. ‘Deportation flight cancelled at last minute cost State €362,000’, Irish Times, 21 October.
International Organisation for Migration [IOM]. 2004. Glossary on Migration. Geneva: International Organisation for Migration
Irish Independent. 2007. ‘Deported autistic boy will suffer “voodoo child” slurs”, 15 August.
Irish Independent. 2007. ‘Autistic boy’s lawyer says Irish “anti-black”’, 20 August.
Irish Refugee Council [IRC]. 2008. The Right to Protection: Submission to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence and Women’s Rights on the protection aspects of the Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill, Dublin: IRC.
Irish Refugee Council [IRC]. 2011. Submission to the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance, Dublin, IRC.
Jesuit Refugee Centre-Europe. 2010. Becoming Vulnerable in Detention. Civil Society Report on the Detention of Vulnerable Asylum Seekers and Irregular Migrants in the European Union, JSE-Europe: Brussels.
Joyce, C. 2011. Annual Policy Report on Migration and Asylum 2010: Ireland. Dublin: European Migration Network and ESRI
Kelly, M. 2005. Immigration-related detention in Ireland: Research report for the Irish Refugee Council, Irish Penal Reform Trust and Immigrant Council of Ireland. available at (accessed 9 December 2011).
Lentin, R. and R. McVeigh. 2006. After Optimism? Ireland, Racism and Globalisation. Dublin: Metro Eireann .
Loyal, S. 2011. Understanding Immigration in Ireland: State, Capital and Labour in a Global Age, Manchester: Manchester University Press
Maddock, J. and C. Mallon. 2003. ’10,000 parents of Irish babies to be deported’, The Evening Herald, 23 January.
Malik, S.2012. ‘Tamil deportee blames Britain for repeat of Sri Lanka torture ordeal’, The Guardian, 5 June.
O’Riordan, T. 2007. “Ireland of the exclusionary welcomes: Uncovering Immigration-related Detention.” Studies, an Irish Quarterly Review, 96 (381): 17-26.
Peutz, N. 2010. ‘“Criminal Alien” Deportees in Somaliland’, in N. De Genova and N. Peutz (eds), The Deportation Regime. Sovereignty, space and the freedom of movement, Durham: Duke University Press.
Quinn, E. 2007. Return Migration: The Irish Case, Dublin: The Economic and Social Research Institute.
Reception and Integration Agency [RIA]. 2010. Value for Money & Policy Review. Asylum Seeker Accommodation Programme, Dublin: RIA.
Schuster, L. 2003. ‘Common Sense or Racism? The Treatment of Asylum Seekers in Europe’, Patterns of Prejudice, 37(3): 233-256.
Shatter, Alan. 2012. ‘We must strike a fine balance with our immigration policies’, Metro Éireann, 15-19 February.
Smyth, J. 2010a. ‘Irish citizen children “effectively expelled”’, Irish Times, 4 December.
Smyth, J. 2010b. 'I'm scared . . . but I can't bear to be parted from Abigail', Irish Times, 4 December.
Smyth, J. 2011. ‘Nigerian mother of Irish child wins right to remain in Republic’, Irish Times, 13 August.
Thornton, L. 2011. ‘Impact of the CJEU decision: Zambrano and Irish Law’, available at:  last accessed 30th May 2012
Tyrrell, F. 2004. ‘Refugee Council urges humane deportations’, Irish Times,  7 July.
Wacquant, L. 1999 ‘ “Suitable Enemies” Foreigners and immigrants in the prisons of Europe’, Punishment and Society, 1(2): 215-222.
Walters, W. 2002. ‘Deportation, Expulsion, and the International Police of Aliens’, Citizenship Studies, 6(3): 265-292

[1] See: Doras Luimni, Nasc, IRC: ‘Submission for the Twelfth Session of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Ireland’, March 2011,
available at
[2] Provisional figures for the end of 2011 indicate that there were approximately 5,400 persons seeking international protection accommodated in direct provision centres in the State. See Irish Times: ‘Child asylum seeker takes bias case’,  11/04/2012;
[3] In October 2010, a coalition of organisations (Crosscare Migrant Project, DorasLuimní, Immigrant Council of Ireland, Irish Refugee Council, Migrant Rights Centre Ireland, The Integration Centre and NASC: The Irish Immigrant Support Centre) presented a letter to the Dáil regarding provisions for summary deportations contained within the 2010 Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill. It noted that while current procedures regarding deportation provide an individual fifteen days to make representations to the Minister as to why he/she should be allowed to remain in the State, the 2010 Bill would not permit this provision. The establishment of a ‘truly independent appeals mechanism for immigration and protection decisions’ is also recommended (Joyce, 2011: 14).
[4] FRONTEX (Agency for the management and operational cooperation at the external border) is an EU agency based in Warsaw providing assistance for joint return operations and identifying best practices on the acquisition of travel documents and removal of non-EU nationals irregularly present in the territory of an EU State. Even though Ireland is not a part of the Schengen area, it participates in meetings of the Frontex Risk Analysis Network and provides relevant statistical data on a monthly basis (Joyce, 2011).
[5] ‘Visa plans targets illegal immigrants’, Irish Times, December 20, 2011, available at

[6] People detained after being refused permission to land and people detained pending deportation do not have a formal right to avail of legal aid (Kelly, 2005).
[7] UN Human Rights Committee, ‘Consideration of reports submitted by state parties under article 40 of the Covenant’, available at; last accessed on 8/06/2012
[8] Nathalie Peutz echoes Walters when she writes that despite having been traditionally legitimized as a ‘sovereign practice’, deportation ‘must be considered part of a wider array of practices of removal... that have become increasingly ingrained in our political and cultural landscapes as states eager to assert their sovereignty in an age of terror team up with private corporations experienced in the industrialization of confinement and exclusion’ (Peutz, 2010: 373)           
[9] An article in the Irish Sun reported that the UK Border Agency (UKBA) spent 8.67 million pounds (around $14 million) on 37 flights to Afghanistan, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Iraq, Ghana, Pakistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2011, Irish Sun, ‘Britain Wastes millions on deporting migrants’, article available at
[11] Dáil Eireann Debate , Vol. 711 No. 4, available at
[12] Dáil Eireann Debate, Vol. 769, No 2; available at
[13] Luke O’Neill, ‘Flight to deport 13 cost over €250,000’, The Irish Times (2006, 7 July)
[14] Dáil question, 9 June 2010, Dáil Eireann Debate Vol. 711 No. 4
[15] In contrast to all other European countries, except Denmark, the Irish state denies asylum seekers the right to work, a policy which according to Loyal (2011: 97) aims at ‘maintaining state control and ethno-racial regulation of the population’.
[16] Council of Europe, 2008, ‘Report by the Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr Tomas Hammarberg on his visit to Ireland’, available at, last accessed 7/06/2012.  The reports says: ‘In addition to strengthening the autonomy of asylum-seekers and providing revenues for the receiving country, access to the labour market may actually facilitate reintegration into the country of origin by making it possible for the asylum-seeker to return home with a degree of financial independence or acquired work skills’.
[17] Rowan Gallagher, ‘Private Asylum centres cost €58m. Irish Times, Friday, May 18, 2012, available at, accessed on 12th May 2012
[20] See: Irish Times, 14 April 2005. ‘Agents of State blamed for breaking up families’; Irish Times, 25 March, 2005 ‘U turn was right thing to do says McDowell’)
[21] On 11 June 2004 a referendum was held on a proposal to change the constitutional entitlement to Irish citizenship. The change, approved by a majority nearing 80%, meant that ‘People born in the island of Ireland after the constitutional amendment took effect would not have a constitutional right to be Irish citizens, unless, at the time of their birth, one of their parents was an Irish citizen or was entitled to be an Irish citizen’. See                                     
[22] Dáil question, 18 January 2012, Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 752 No. 1; available at
[23] Dáil question, 29 march 2012, Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 761 No. 2; available at
[25] Mary Carolan, ‘Russian-Irish couple granted deportation challenge’, Irish Times, July 26, 2003, available at
[26] Irish Times, ‘Asylum seekers return after deportation plane breaks down’,  17 December 2010.
[27] Dáil Question, Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 726 No. 3, 18 January 2011,
[29] See also The Irish Times (23 December 2010). ‘Council criticises flight for deportees’.
[31] Submission by the Irish Refugee Council to the European Commission against Racism and intolerance, 2011. available at
[32] The Irish Times - Wednesday, December 21, 2011 ‘Mother allowed to seek deportation review’, available at
[33] RAT’s members are not selected through an independent procedure but appointed by the Minister for Justice. There is no interview process and no necessary qualification required other than five years in legal practice. Members are often chosen because of their political and social affiliations (Coulter, 2005).
[34] In its ‘Roadmap for Asylum Reform’, launched in September 2011, the IRC set out the elements of an independent appeals system including independently appointed tribunal members; public hearings; clear, detailed and published procedural rules governing the preparation for and conduct of appeal hearings; and the publication of decision. Available at, last accessed 1 June 2012