Heading Home

Aloha kakou. It is with a heavy heart that our family is packing up and will be headed home tomorrow, with a slight detour for R&R and to heal our wounds and souls. I received a fax from the Gardai Superintendent’s office that informed us that our appeal was denied; in his opinion the officer who refused us land was in compliance with immigration law and policy and was justified in his decision. Unfortunately the reason given to the Superintendent by said officer was that he claimed that we did not tell him the truth when he first asked us our purpose for entering the country. We are not the ones being untruthful here, and it is a shame, though understandable, that the superintendent would take this officer’s word and investigate no further. We were offered no opportunity to offer our side of the story (beyond what was contained in my appeal letter) or refute his. If he believed we were being deceitful, why did he initially offer to allow me into the country but refuse my wife and daughter? We are appalled beyond belief.

Shortly after receiving this fax we received further correspondence from UCC, which was a reply from the GNIB to the Irish Council For Internation Students.

“Students are not allowed to have dependants or visitors in the State. Dependants of students will be refused leave to land and refused registration. In exceptional circumstances students who have a stipend of €25,000 per annum or more can be granted a permission to stay. Application would have to have been made and approved before travelling to Ireland.”

So it seems that the door has closed completely, not only for us but other bona fide foreigners who could afford to live in Ireland for a short time, share our knowledge and culture. We have more than the required funds, however, we have are out of time. We are grateful for the efforts of all of our friends in Ireland, Hawai’i and elsewhere who have offered words of support and who acted strongly on our behalf. We’ll never forget you all and will be eternally grateful for your support. We never ran out of hope; we just ran out of time.

Keola, Marie and Denyce Donaghy

7 comments on “Heading Home

Diarmuid O hAodha says:

Is mor an trua!Really sorry to hear that-bizarre beyond belief! Is mor an naire freisin!

JFSD says:

Absolutely freaking amazing (in the saddest of ways)… I’m so sorry.

Saddened to hear this is the final outcome.

I believe the reason cited by the Garda Superintendent pertains to students, not post-graduate positions. This should be clarified by the Minister for Education because I have known several families who have lived in Ireland at no cost to the State while the father or mother completed Masters or Doctoral work in Ireland.

PhD candidates are normally afforded post-graduate positions in terminology and treatment. I would be surprised to learn that the Department of Education and Science has ceded the responsibility for the fostering of fourth level education to An Garda Siochana. I think it’s very discouraging to watch the University College Cork roll over on this issue, offering no advocacy or meaningful advice.

This story of a doctoral candidate being refused leave to land has crossfed into Indian and Chinese education and employment discussion fora. In the globalised world where Ireland competes to earn market share, it is counterproductive to maintain the stance that the GNIB has articulated here. In fact, I believe the position taken the Immigration Bureau is wrong in the case of post-graduate research and will be revised in short order.

Debbie B says:

I am just heartsick that this is the way that things have ended. What a terrible loss all around: for you and your family, for those folks in Ireland who will not have the opportunity to share their knowledge and learn from yours, and even for those of us who were eagerly anticipating a very different series of posts from this trip. I am so sorry!

aonghus says:

It is a pity to see a bureaucratic cock up at work – the answer reads as “we couldn’t possibly have made a mistake”.

I hope Ruairí Quinn et al follow up on this, and get the policy clearly sorted out by the Department of Justice. The GNIB should not be setting policy.

go néirí libh amach anseo. Is díol trua é an deireadh seo ar an scéal.

It is a travesty for someone to put his faith in the goodwill of an Irish college, whose inept understanding of its national laws caused an emotional trauma, a huge monetary loss, no job to return home to, and an uprooted family situation to occur. To have this same college turn its back on this potential student, when faced with opposition, only proves that its administration needs to be replaced and its core values reexamined.
Ireland truly is a country that bites its nose off to spite its face. No wonder this country was in turmoil for so long.

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