Irish High Court supports deportation order against Nigerian mother of autistic boy|
DUBLIN, Ireland: Ireland's High Court has ruled that the Minister for Justice was correct not to revoke a deportation order against a Nigerian woman and her two children, one of whom is autistic.
Olivia Agbonlahor had challenged the Minister's decision to deport her and her six-year-old twins, one of whom has been diagnosed with autism.
The case was reviewed by Michael McDowell personally last year but at the time the diagnosis of autism had not been made.
Agbonlahor claimed that her son, Great, would not receive adequate medical treatment in Nigeria and that because of his condition he and the family would be ostracised.
On April 18, Justice Kevin Feeney said the family had not established "exceptional circumstances" which would allow them to remain in Ireland.
He said the issue was not a lack of treatment which would result in the death of Great but the absence in Nigeria of educational and medical facilities to ensure his full development.
Justice Feeney acknowledged that this was an "austere" statement, but he quoted a ruling from the House of Lords in the United Kingdom, stating that judges must examine the law in a way that suppresses emotion of all kinds.
He ruled that the family's rights under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights had not been breached.
However, Justice Feeney mentioned the possibility that the Agbonlahors' legal team may wish to have some legal issues clarified in the Supreme Court and he adjourned the case until May 11 to allow them to consider the judgment.
Afterwards, Olivia Agbonlahor said she was disappointed. Her solicitor, Kevin Brophy, said they were now pleading with the Minister to make an exception for Olivia and her children, especially since Great had now been diagnosed with autism.
Brophy said the Minister could intervene without affecting the legal principles laid down in this ruling.
(Source: RTE, April 18, 2007)