Home » Latest News » Deportation a waste of money: €337,800 flight remain in Ireland, says Shatter Monday, January 16, 2012

Deportation a waste of money: €337,800 flight remain in Ireland, says Shatter Monday, January 16, 2012

THE Minister for Justice has confirmed that 12 Congolese and eight Nigerians on board a deportation flight costing €337,800 last July remain in Ireland.

According to Alan Shatter, the flight bound for Nigeria and the Congo was forced to return to Ireland last July after Algerian aviation authorities withdrew permission to enter their airspace mid-flight.

The flight was organised through the Frontex network involving the immigration authorities of Finland, Germany, Norway, Sweden and France as well as from this state, which was due to land in Lagos, Nigeria and Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Mr Shatter stated that “the cost of chartering the plane was fully borne by the company appointed to provide chartered aircraft and ancillary services to my Department”.

However, he said “€22,000 was incurred by my Department in ancillary costs relating to this flight, such as securing documentation for the returnees and sending advance parties of Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) members to Lagos and Kinshasa to ensure that landing permits and all other requirements were obtained in advance”.

Mr Shatter said that, on departure, the flight had all of the necessary paperwork in order.

In a written Dáil response to a question by Dara Calleary (FF), Mr Shatter said: “A total of 14 Nigerian and 12 Congolese nationals were due to be returned by Ireland to Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo on that flight. Of the 14 Nigerian nationals, six have subsequently been deported from the state. The remaining individuals are still liable for removal and the arrangement of their removal is a matter for the GNIB.”

Mr Shatter confirmed last year that it cost the state just under €1 million to deport 280 people, of whom 235 were failed asylum seekers.

“The detailed arrangements governing deportation flights are complex and require co-operation between many agencies,” he said.

“These flights also require a large degree of co-operation from other countries; some of which have no diplomatic representation here. Flight plans, overflight permits, landing permits, refuelling stops, identity papers, passports or other identity-type documents and so forth all have to be agreed with the authorities in the receiving jurisdiction. In some instances, similar issues may arise when removal flights pass through third country airspace.

“Ensuring that all these logistical and diplomatic issues are in order is a complex task and occasionally difficulties can arise very late in the process.

“Every effort is taken to ensure that all risks are minimised. “The removal of individuals from the state in compliance with the provisions of the law is, by its nature, a difficult process.

“It is a necessary feature of the enforcement of immigration-related legislation where individuals do not exercise the option available to them to leave the state voluntarily when they have not got permission to remain in the state, or where they may not be in a position to exercise that option,” he said.

Asylum seekers Asylum and Immigration Refugee Law Asylum application Immigration Law Ireland Immigration Solicitors.

This appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Monday, January 16, 2012 By Gordon Deegan

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