Irish Republican News · March 26, 2005
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Deportation overturned by student power

A deported Nigerian student is being allowed to return to Ireland to sit his Leaving Certificate xams in June, and is expected to be permitted to remain here indefinitely.

Pressure is now mounted on Minister for Justice Michael McDowell to relent over other deported asylum-seekers following a surprise u-turn in the case of Olukunle Elukanlo.

However, last night the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform stressed that the decision to let Olukunle return to Ireland will “not create a precedent” and there will be no climbdown in other cases.

There is mounting pressure on the Minister to act in the case of Nigerians based in Athlone and Castleblayney who were deported. A number of children are reported to be in hiding from threatened deportations.

Yesterday Mr McDowell described his U-turn as “an exceptional measure given the circumstances of the case”.

Classmates of the student known as Kunle at Palmerstown Community School had campaigned for his return and successfully shamed the Minister into the reversal by picketing the Dublin parliament.

Residents against Racism also welcomed the Minister’s decision but said all 35 Nigerians deported last week should be allowed to return.

The decision to let Kunle return to Ireland was “the right thing to do”, Minister for Justice Michael McDowell said.

Mr McDowell said there were times when Ministers “should stop digging”.

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© 2005 Irish Republican News