Appeal by Irish couple to stop deportation from Australia because of toddler's illness rejected

Appeal by Irish couple to stop deportation from Australia because of toddler's illness rejected
Christine, Darragh and Anthony Hyde

An appeal by an Irish couple facing deportation from Australia because their son has Cystic Fibrosis has been rejected.

Anthony and Christine Hyde’s application for permanent residency was refused because the Australian government deemed three-year-old Darragh’s illness to be a burden on taxpayers.

The couple appealed their case to the Administrative Review Tribunal who formally rejected their plea at a hearing today in Melbourne.

But the Tribunal has recommended their case be referred to the Department of Immigration who will decide if the Minister should intervene in their case.

The couple will now make a last-ditch appeal to Immigration Minister David Coleman and beg him to let them stay in Australia.

Speaking after the hearing, Christine Hyde said it was a positive result for the family who wanted to get their case in front of the Minister.

Christine said: “Today the visa was refused as expected but our case has been referred to the Minister which was the result we were looking for.

"We still have a big battle on our hands but we feel we are on the right track.

“I’m confident that our case will be successful if we can get the Minister’s attention.”

With today’s ruling, the couple technically have 28 days to leave the country but they will be applying for bridging visas so they can remain and fight their case.

The family’s plight has made headlines across Australia and was the subject of a special report on Channel 10’s The Project on Sunday night.

Over 65,000 people have signed a petition calling for the Hydes to be allowed to remain in Australia.

Appeal by Irish couple to stop deportation from Australia because of toddler's illness rejected

Christine works as an assistant principal at a local primary school and Anthony is a part-time bus driver.

The couple applied for permanent residency in 2015 before Darragh was born.

Shortly after his birth, the toddler was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis and their application was rejected on the basis that Darragh would be a burden on the state.

The family argued that Darragh’s condition is mild and have doctors reports to back that up.

They also argued that Darragh is Australian-born and therefore should not be deported.

Darragh is Australian – he was born in Australia and has never set foot out of Australia.

"He’s never been to Ireland. It’s really unfair,” explained Christine.

Initially, their application was rejected on the basis that Darragh would require a costly lung transplant but this was struck out after his doctors argued this was extremely unlikely given how mild his condition is.

However, the state then deemed the cost of the CF drug Kalydeco which Darragh takes and would cost AUD$300,000 (€188,000) per year without state subsidy is a “burden” on taxpayers.

Darragh is currently taking part in trials for Cystic Fibrosis and Christine hopes this “significant contribution back to society” may help to swing their case.

With Australian elections taking place on May 18, there could be a change in government with a new Minister deciding the Hyde’s fate.

Christine is remaining upbeat adding: “it might work in our favour. We’ve got lots of support from the Labour candidate in our area.”

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