Gardaí crack down on immigration from NI

A year on from the referendum to change the Irish Republic’s citizenship laws, it has been revealed that 477 people have been refused entry from Northern Ireland to the Irish Republic in the first six months of 2005, an increase of nearly 250% over a year. Thanks Seamus for this even if it’s a little late.

A special Garda immigration unit based in Dundalk stopped the people in the first six months while in the same period last year, they refused nearly 194.

The vast majority are from former Soviet States and have come looking for work but aren’t entitled to work permits.

The Immigration Border Control Unit was set up last October and has its base in Dundalk as the Belfast to Dublin corridor is regarded as the main route of entry of illegal immigrants.

According to Garda Commissioner Noel Conroy in the Irish Times false passports that state the people are from new EU countries such as Latvia or Estonia are used for entry.

The head of the Dundalk Unit, Sgt O’Connor, said “very few people” are now putting in asylum applications.

Not surprising considering the “safe third country” rule means they are immediately returned to the UK, from whence they came.

  • BogExile

    Good on the Guards! The full resources of the stae have at last been deployed to intercept a handful of Lithuanian spud-peelers. A pity this robust approach to interdiction wasn’t happening in the 70’s and 80’s when they colluded with PIRA to allow them free access to S. Fermanagh to murder any Prod about the place.

    Perhaps Strawberry pickers are the new Al Quaida?

  • Keith M

    BogExile. It may have escaped your attention, but Lithuania joined the EU in May 2004. Those being stopped are mainly from other former Soviet countries who are miles away from meeting the requirements to join the EU (Moldova, Ukraine etc.)

    If I were you I be more worried about the lack of border controls in the UK.

  • Keith M

    BogExile. It may have escaped your attention, but Lithuania joined the EU in May 2004. Those being stopped are mainly from other former Soviet countries who are miles away from meeting the requirements to join the EU (Moldova, Ukraine etc.)

    If I were you I be more worried about the lack of border controls in the UK.

  • Charles

    I read that article yesterday. The focus of the story was a couple of Sudani refugees, one of whom walked with the aid of a stick, a detail that stuck in my mind, having worked in that unfortunate country as a volunteer in the 80s. They were bundled back to the UK in a shameful and shame-inducing bit of petty bureaucracy of the kind favoured by Michael MacDowell. How had the UK refused them asylum in the first place, given their country was until recently riven by a civil war that claimed 2 million lives. We should get the message out that if they cross the border anywhere else, there’s no specialist garda unit.

  • George

    Charles,
    it’s EU law and, ironically enough, is known as the Dublin convention.

    Under this convention, it is illegal for that Sudanese person to claim asylum in Ireland if he came through what was considered a safe country.

    As the UK is also an island, I’d say he came from via some other “safe” country they won’t give him asylum either.

    YOu have to claim asylum at the first country of call, in his case, the UK. This is all part of what those against it called the EU’s “Fortress Europe” policy of over a decade ago and nobody complained then.

    There were 981 people arrested with the help of German special forces for demonstrating against it at the EU Summit in central Essen in 1994, the largest mass arrest since World War 2.

    Not a single newspaper reported on it and everyone was kept in an underground shooting range for 12 hours until the leaders left.

  • GavBelfast

    George,

    The UK is not merely an island – you know, the way Ulster is not merely NI?

    See the way your pedantry encourages pedantic retorts?

    😉

  • Yoda

    Indeed, Gav. Unfortunately, your pedantry fails to address the issue George is discussing. Stop embarrassing yourself.

  • Celtic Storm

    Typical of the Black North trying to export their trouble South as usual! Someone should ask these Sudanese why they didn’t want to stay in the lovely province , if we’re to believe the good Dr no one in their right mind would want to come to our parochial little leprechaun republic. Me thinks the rest of the world may disagree with the small minded (and now quite feeble minded) big man!!!!

  • GavBelfast

    And your views, Yoda?

    It was only a little rib-take from me to George – what was your excuse for posting irrelevance?

  • Yoda

    Hit a nerve, did I?

    My “excuse” for poking you was to keep the topic from derailing. Unfortunately, you appear to be keen to keep on trying.

    I take it that you don’t actually have anything to add to George’s point about the role the Dublin Convention plays in this case?

  • Charles

    To hell with the Dublin Convention and all other conventions that collude to prevent refugees reaching asylum. We’re wrapping ourselves up in legalese in order to deny help and claim “it’s not our fault, it’s the international obligations we’ve signed up to.”