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Minister for Justice Helen McEntee announced the move this evening.
Department of Justice

Government seeks tenders for charter flights to deport people from State

Justice Minister Helen McEntee said she intends to see the flights operational by the end of the year.

THE GOVERNMENT HAS launched a procurement process for charter flights to deport people who no longer have permission to remain in the State.

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee made the announcement this evening, saying that charter flights can be more appropriate than commercial flights in circumstances when a group of individuals are being removed to the same destination.

McEntee said this will increase the options available to Gardaí to effect removals and deportations.

A request for tender has been published on the e-Tenders website with a view to procuring a provider of charter flight services and relevant supporting services, such as ground support, catering and, when required, medical assistance for passengers.

Companies have until 17 July to submit proposals to the Government. 

McEntee said there has been a “major increase” in the number of decisions issued on International Protection cases and it is now time to increase capacity to remove people from the State whose applications have been refused. 

“Providing access to charter flights will be a useful additional operational and enforcement resource for An Garda Síochána when the use of commercial carriers is not appropriate,” the Minister said.

“Subject to the successful completion of the tender process and other relevant arrangements, I intend to see charter flights operational by the end of the year.”

McEntee also said she has provided specific funding for the Garda Airport Liaison Officer programme, and over the course of the year, registration functions nationwide will be largely transferred to her Department. 

“Nationwide, over 100 Gardaí are assigned to immigration duties. Reducing administrative tasks and providing additional resources, releases valuable Garda hours to focus on operational and enforcement matters, such as deportations and investigations,” she added. 

According to the Department of Justice, there have been 860 deportation orders signed this year, with over 295 people departing from the State. 

The Department said the number of enforced deportations has also increased, with 50 enforced deportations to date this year compared to 19 enforced by this time last year. 

The number of people availing of voluntary returns has more than doubled compared in 2023, from 97 to 227. 

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