Support agencies have demanded greater transparency as 61 illegals were whisked to two central European counties in a 2am flight out of Dublin.
The Irish Refugee Council together with the Children’s Rights Alliance and the Irish Commission for Justice and Peace highlighted grave concerns after a series of pre-dawn raids over the past week ended in the €71,590 chartered dead-of-night flight.
Among the 55 Romanians deported were 33 men, 11 women, three juveniles and five children. Six people from Moldova comprised four men, a mother and child. Director of the Irish Refugee Council Peter O’Mahony said: “We have to accept deportations happen but they should take place with maximum transparency.
“The hands of the authorities are strengthened by flights under cover of darkness, away from the public eye,” he said.
He said some of the illegals were detained in Mountjoy and Cloverhill prisons without access to their personal belongings.
“Taking away their mobile phones limited contact with the outside world, forcing further trauma on those arrested,” he said.
Children’s Rights Alliance chief executive Ray Dooley said a specific concern was whether the rights of the children deported had been fully respected.
“We know there had not been adequate training of officials involved in an operation last year and children were subjected to interrogation without parents being present,” he said.
Conducted by the Garda Immigration Bureau with the Department of Justice, yesterday’s operation brought to 300 the number of failed asylum seekers deported this year. Ministerial orders for 574 deportations were signed in the first three months of this year, the department said yesterday.
The deportees were detained after a week-long series of raids in Cork, Galway, Wexford, Tipperary and Dublin.
Sr Joan Roddy of the Irish Commission for Justice and Peace said her main concern was if the deportees had been granted fair hearings with legal back-up and interpretative services.
“The question of fairness arises if their applications are not completed in reasonable time,” she said.