The Department of Justice yesterday confirmed it cost the State €698,814 in deportation flights.
The 428 people deported in 2016 is an increase of 142 on the 286 deported in 2015.
In addition to the 428 deportation orders effected, the Department of Justice yesterday confirmed that 1,200 deportation orders were signed in 2016 — a 56% rise on the 765 orders signed in 2015.
According to the department, the top six countries of origin of those deported in 2016 were Nigeria, China, Ghana, Brazil, Albania, and South Africa.
In addition, the numbers of foreigners blocked at Irish air and sea ports from entering the State last year rose by 20% from 3,450 to 4,127.
New figures provided by Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald, show that of the 4,127 people refused entry, 396 were subsequently admitted to pursue a protection application.
Commenting on the jump in numbers ‘refused to land’, director of the Migrant Rights Centre, Edel McGinley said: “This is a very high number... MRCI has consistently highlighted the lack of transparency at our ports: we don’t know why these people have been refused leave to land.
“It is vital that human rights standards are upheld at our ports, but the lack of an appeals mechanism or complaints process means that there is little information and less accountability.”
On the increase in deportations effected last year, a Department of Justice spokesman said: “A decision to deport a person is never taken lightly.
“Only persons who are illegally present in the State fall within the scope to be considered for deportation. Prior to the making of a decision to deport, all relevant legal rights of the person, including those applicable under international instruments such as the Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights are considered.”
He stressed: “No person is deported where deportation would result in return to a place where the life or freedom of the person would be threatened for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, or there is a serious risk that the person would be subjected to the death penalty, torture or other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”