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 - Repatriation Flights

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 760 No. 3

First Page Previous Page Page of 500 Next Page Last Page

 468.  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  if he has sought a report into an incident involving an injury to a member of An Garda Síochána on a repatriation flight on 8 March; if he will publish that report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16795/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter On 8 March 2012, a member of An Garda Síochána attached to the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) suffered injuries while on duty during the course of a deportation flight to Nigeria.

This flight, which was Austrian-led and organised through FRONTEX (the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union), had departed Vienna on the evening of 9 March, stopping in Madrid to take on board returnees and their escorts from Spain, France and Ireland en route to Nigeria. The returnees from Ireland had earlier been escorted without incident on a charter flight from Dublin to Madrid.

The incident in question occurred during the Madrid to Lagos leg of the flight. The injuries sustained by the member were treated by medical personnel on board. The flight proceeded to Nigeria and on its return to Madrid, the member was taken to a hospital there. He was discharged from hospital and returned to Ireland on 9 March, the same day as the other GNIB members involved in the flight.

I am advised by the Garda authorities that a senior officer has been appointed to conduct a criminal investigation into this serious incident and in advance of the outcome of that investigation, it would be inappropriate for me to make any further comment.

[902]I would like to take this opportunity to wish the member in question a speedy recovery. Finally, yet again, this incident serves to underline the often difficult and dangerous nature of the duties undertaken by members of the force on behalf of the State.

 469.  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 number of repatriation flights that left Ireland in 2011 and to date in 2012; the total number of persons repatriated; the number of security personnel on board each in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16796/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) that there were a total of seven flights in 2011 and one flight to date this year with a total of 111 and 21 failed asylum seekers and other illegal immigrants repatriated respectively. These figures refer to charter flights engaged by INIS (utilising EU funding from the European Return Fund) or by participation in FRONTEX (European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union) organised flights. The majority of failed asylum seekers and illegal immigrants including persons refused entry into the State, persons who were transferred under the Dublin Regulation to the EU member state in which they first applied for asylum and EU nationals who were returned to their countries of origin on foot of an EU Removal Order are removed using scheduled commercial flights as appropriate.

The number of escorting Gardaí on each flight is a Garda operational matter and varies depending on a prior risk assessment of each removal operation carried out by the Garda National Immigration Bureau. As this is a Garda operational matter I do not propose to comment further on the number of security personnel deployed.

Deportations take place within the provisions of the Immigration Act, 1999, as amended, and after each applicant’s case has been fully considered by me with regard to the eleven considerations contained in Section 3(6) of that Act and Section 5 (Prohibition of Refoulement) of the Refugee Act 1996. Deportations are always carried out in accordance with the law and with due regard for the dignity of the deportee.


Last Updated: 04/04/2015 11:08:10 First Page Previous Page Page of 500 Next Page Last Page