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Court upholds the deportation of Nigerian woman who went into hiding for five years

The woman and her child cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

THE HIGH COURT has upheld a decision by the Minister for Justice and Equality to deport a Nigerian woman, who went into hiding for almost five years, and her Irish born child.

In his judgment Mr Justice Richard Humphreys rejected claims made by lawyers for the woman and child that the deportation orders were invalid.

The judge found the child’s educational rights, such as the right to free primary education, while in the state are not a barrier to deportation.

The woman and her child cannot be identified for legal reasons.

The woman, leaving her husband and two other children behind in Nigeria, came to Ireland in early 2008. Her child was born here shortly afterwards.

They applied for both asylum and subsidiary protection in Ireland but the applications were refused. In 2009 the Minister issued deportation orders in respect of the woman and the child.

The woman went into hiding in Ireland in late 2009. She surrendered to the authorities in October 2014 so she could bring proceedings challenging the deportation orders.

She was then arrested and detained and was released from custody in December 2014.

Education

The woman and her child, represented by Rosario Boyle SC and Anthony Lowry Bl, argued the deportation order was invalid on grounds including that the Minister’s decision was irrational and that the child’s educational rights were not properly considered by the Minister.

The Minister, represented by David Conlan Smyth SC and Anthony Moore Bl, opposed the application and argued the deportation order should be upheld.

In his judgment Mr Justice Humphreys said the child’s educational rights did not confer any right on any child not to be removed, even to a country with an inferior social or educational system.

It was also open to the Minister to conclude Nigeria has a functioning education system, the judge added. The judge agreed the Minister did not have to consider the deportation of the mother separately from the child.

In all the circumstances the challenge was dismissed.

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Aodhan O Faolain

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