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Dublin: 5°C Sunday 7 March 2021

The Irishman detained at an infamous Australian immigration centre is due home tonight

Bernard Lee’s family had been appealing to federal officials Down Under to release the 26-year-old, from Greystones, Co Wicklow.

Bernard Lee and his girlfriend Michelle.
Bernard Lee and his girlfriend Michelle.
Image: Facebook

AN IRISHMAN detained in an infamous Australian immigration detention centre for more than a week is due home tonight.

Bernard Lee’s family had been appealing to federal officials Down Under to release the 26-year-old, originally from Greystones, Co Wicklow.

He was arrested last Monday 25 July by armed police and immigration officers at his home.

Lee was then driven to the Yongah Hill detention centre, run by the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection in Northam, Perth, Western Australia.

He was arrested after allegedly being issued a letter informing him that his application for a resident’s visa had been denied, and also that his working visa was cancelled.

Lee claims he never received the letter, which gave him 20 days to leave the country.

Amal Michelle Bernard Lee's girlfriend Amal Michelle posted this picture from Croatia celebrating his imminent release. Source: Facebook

Australia’s immigration department has rejected claims that proper processes had not been followed.


In the aftermath it emerged that Lee has criminal records in both Ireland and Australia for drink driving, driving without a licence, and police obstruction.

He had been living in Western Australia for the past seven years.

Lee was initially informed he would be detained for up to three months before his expulsion, despite signing a voluntary statement agreeing to leave the country.

He is now due to be escorted, in handcuffs, by security officials from Perth back to Ireland tonight.

The bodybuilder and ­tiler expressed relief about his release this week.

“All the security guards have said that they’ve never seen someone get home from here after only 11 days,” he told Liveline on RTE Radio 1 on Tuesday.

Read: Irish man to be detained at infamous Australian immigration centre “for three months”

Read: Woman who gives birth at 62 in Australia called ‘selfish and wrong’ by medical chief

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