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DoJ officials warned McEntee about criminals making bogus asylum claims

Recent arrests of members of the Black Axe crime gang, and of Albanian nationals who have been charged in relation to one of a series of large seizures of cocaine here, have once again raised questions with regard to the use of Ireland as a base for international criminal activity.

When individuals are charged, reference is sometimes made not only to their status here as people who have sought or been granted asylum but also to proven or suspected involvement in serious crime in this and other jurisdictions. Questions have been raised about the ability of the state to, firstly, identify such individuals on arrival here, and secondly, enforce deportation orders to return them to their country of origin.

A Department of Justice discussion paper from June 2022, obtained by Ken Foxe under a Freedom of Information request, provided the basis for a background note for the Minister for Justice on this issue. 

The paper notes that criminals who are set to be deported are making likely bogus claims of asylum and therefore remaining at liberty in the State for “prolonged periods” with consequences for public safety. 

The Department of Justice officials point to the fact that “individuals with serious criminal records or other offences considered suitable for deportation” “remain at liberty in this State for prolonged periods while the State deals with potentially vexatious applications”.  

This is “not desirable from a public safety perspective”, the paper added. 

The Minister was also warned that attempts were being made to abuse the system, with applications for asylum being made by people who had been in the State for many years and had never made such a claim until they were set to be deported. 



The paper was written last year at the time when the Government was preparing to resume deportations that had been subject to an ill-conceived “moratorium” put in place during the Covid period. (In truth, the moratorium had not made much of a dent in the paltry number of deportations carried out relative to any other year. 

Interestingly, by way of introduction, the paper refers to a 2003 United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) document which accepts that the “capacity to control borders” is “fundamental to the sovereignty of the state.”

It also bluntly states that “nowhere does a majority of the citizenry support open borders.”  Significant elements of the Irish establishment would appear to accept neither of those facts.

The Department of Justice paper refers to EU statistics on deportations which confirm what Gript has pointed out previously in relation to the extremely low number of people who are deported as a proportion of the amount of deportation orders made. There were 342,000 deportation orders issued across the EU in 2021, but just 82,700 were executed. 


It ought to be borne in mind that the numbers are cumulative. Between 2015 and 2021 there were more than 3,000,000 deportation orders issued by EU states. Given that the annual rate of returns compared to orders is around 20%, that means that there are probably millions of illegal immigrants living in EU states, and yet the EU was only able to identify 680,000 in 2021. 

As a reply to a PQ from Carol Nolan, the Rural Independent TD for Laois/Offaly in May this year revealed, just 11% of deportation orders issued by the Irish authorities are carried out. 

The Department of Justice paper recognises that problem and that it takes “many years” even before the deportation stage is reached. 

This, the paper says, is a consequence of the “litigious nature of the entire immigration system” which means that cases simply mount up year on year. At the end of May 2022, there were an astonishing 13,151 deportation orders “on hand.” When one considers that the Table below shows that of 662 deportation orders made in 2022 that 573 were revoked, the only conclusion to be drawn is that the process here is entirely unfit for purpose. A conclusion tacitly accepted by Department of Justice officials it would seem. 




This is of current importance given recent revelations of migrant crime gangs based in the state. The Department recognises that “the rapid processing of criminality cases of sufficient seriousness is desirable” (p19.) and as part of that there is an urgent need for “dealing with attempts to frustrate the system.” 

One of the main strategies to frustrate the process is the abuse of the system of International Protection. Thus, the discussion paper says, “Applications have been lodged by individuals who have been in the State for many years and who up to the point of departure never felt the need to make such an application.”  

That is surely clear evidence that there is a recognised process, in which migrancy NGOs and some legal practitioners are happy to participate.  That seems to be the only valid descriptive of a situation where individuals subject to deportation, having been found to be illegally within the state, decide of a sudden that they are fleeing persecution only when pinched for committing a crime.

As the Departmental paper goes on to state, this then creates a situation “not desirable from a public safety perspective that individuals with serious criminal records or other offences considered suitable for deportation, should remain at liberty in this State for prolonged periods while the State deals with potentially vexatious applications.”  

As with the manner in which our own criminal and anti-social class are allowed run up multiple convictions prior to ever seeing the inside of a jail, it would appear that significant parts of the legal and NGO establishment are content to participate in this charade. This has real world consequences for those who become victims of sometimes life altering or even life ending crimes at the hands of people molly coddled by the state and its adjuncts. 

Unfortunately, while the Justice officials recognise the urgency of having a proper deportation system and the impediments placed in its way by a variety of barriers, they offer little in the way of effective solutions.  Their main emphasis appears to be on “voluntary return” which accounts for a ridiculously high proportion of “deportations” here as compared to the rest of the EU.




Voluntary return is operated mostly by the UN International Office of Migration here which is also funded by the taxpayer. There is a grant of €1,200 to persuade illegal immigrants to participate after which they are then put through what looks like a pretty lengthy training and “reintegration” programme to prepare them to go home to their own country. 

The paper concludes by stressing the role of deportation as a deterrent and the need for the State to intervene earlier to address “potential abuse.” The accompanying note to the Minister highlights the need for a “functioning deportation process,” without which the State has “very little ability to reduce pressure on the Immigration System or deter inappropriate applications.” 

However, an internal email from Deputy Secretary General of the Department of Justice, Oonagh Buckley, of June 22, 2022 – following discussions with Minister Helen McEntee – stated that the Minister’s “big concern is that it should not cause persons to avoid applying to the undocumented scheme during the remaining weeks.”  She was of course “naturally enough supportive of AGS (An Garda Síochána) efforts to tackle people smugglers, facilitators etc,”

Which perhaps begs the question as to why the system of dealing with all of that and the other criminality and abuse associated with illegal immigration here ought largely to be left to the voluntary participation of illegal immigrants, and the granting of amnesty to thousands of illegals, an unknown but seemingly significant proportion of whom are here through the agency of criminal gangs and to even to carry out criminal acts. 

The Departmental paper and other information indicate that many of those tasked with dealing with the consequences of illegal immigration are aware of the systemic failures that frustrate any attempt to deal with the problem.  Immigration officials, and frontline staff working with IPAS and even Gardaí who have to address the problems that arise, can clearly identify all of that.

Some of the solutions are pretty straightforward and easily implemented. What is missing, unfortunately, is any political will to set about this, as is being done in other European states. 

Indeed, far from recognising that ideologically driven policy has made things worse – as have the Danish Social Democrats – the Irish liberal left which has captured all of the main political parties appears intent on pursuing such a policy at all costs.

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