Houses of the Oireachtas

All parliamentary debates are now being published on our new website. The publication of debates on this website will cease in December 2018.

Go to oireachtas.ie

Written Answers - Deportation Orders

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 752 No. 2

First Page Previous Page Page of 243 Next Page Last Page

 221.  Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary  asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter  the details of other occasions in the past five years when deportation flights were returned; the number of deportees involved and their subsequent situations; the cost of each flight returned to the company involved and to the taxpayer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3242/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter Other than the flight which returned in July 2011 which was dealt with in my reply to PQ 1241/12 (Order Number 647), there was one other occasion where a deportation flight was returned to Ireland with the deportees on board. This occurred on 15th December 2010 when a flight travelling to Lagos, Nigeria via Athens, Greece, could not continue due to the aircraft developing a technical fault at Athens airport.

The flight was organised in conjunction with our European partners in the FRONTEX network where individual Member States co-operate with each other in returning immigrants to their country of origin. In addition to the 35 persons being returned from Ireland, there were 64 other persons from the following countries, UK, Austria, Hungary, Norway, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Greece and Germany due to return to Nigeria on this flight.

On arrival in Athens airport where the persons being returned from Greece and Austria were boarded, the plane developed an unforeseen technical fault while it was on the ground. After consideration of the limited options available (which also involved consultation with the representatives of other countries who were returning deportees) the flight was abandoned and all persons on board were returned to the countries where they had originated.

Twenty two persons from the Irish contingent on board were subsequently removed from the State, seven continue to evade their deportation and are liable for arrest, detention and removal if they are encountered by members of the Garda National Immigration Bureau. In general, the experience has been that persons evading their deportation have already left the jurisdiction. Six persons were subsequently granted permission to remain in the country. The status of the other 64 persons who were being removed from the 10 other EU Member States is not known.

The full cost of the flight —€372,960 — was borne by the company chartered to provide aircraft and ancillary services for deportations. There was no charge to my Department in that respect. Approximately €8,300 was incurred by my Department in ancillary costs relating to this flight such as securing documentation for the returnees and sending an advance party of Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) members to Lagos to ensure that the landing permit and all other requirements were obtained in advance.

As I indicated in my earlier reply, enforced deportation is a hugely difficult and complex task involving the acquisition of landing permits, travel documents, permission for over flights, and so on. As the Deputy will be aware, aircraft, irrespective of whether they are being used for normal commercial activities or flights such as this, do occasionally develop technical faults. That is a fact of life and in itself is not a sound policy reason for the non-enforcement of immigration law — either in this jurisdiction or others. It should be noted that the flight in question was the first such instance in over 50 flights in which a technical aircraft fault forced the return of an aircraft.

 222.  Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary  asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter  the position regarding the 20 persons who were not subsequently deported; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3243/12]

[385]Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter In reply to the Deputy’s Question, of the 20 persons returned to Ireland, one has been removed to Nigeria, 14 persons are still due for deportation; however nine of these are currently evading deportation. They are liable for arrest, detention and removal if encountered by the Garda National Immigration Bureau. However, in general, the experience has been that persons evading their deportation have already left the jurisdiction. Arrangements are being made to deport the remaining five persons as soon as possible.

Of the remaining five persons, one person has had their Deportation Order revoked. The remaining four persons are all part of the same family; a mother and three children. The youngest child had not previously claimed asylum and on returning to Ireland, an application for asylum was made on behalf of the child by its mother. Accordingly, an undertaking not to deport the family unit has been given until an outcome has been reached on the youngest child’s asylum claim.


Last Updated: 04/04/2015 20:12:31 First Page Previous Page Page of 243 Next Page Last Page