Final Thoughts On Our Dublin Disaster

We stopped in Las Vegas for a few days of R&R before heading back to Hawai’i. Flights were cheap and hotel prices reasonable in mid-week. Doing any gaming was out of the question with the string of bad luck we’ve been on, so we’ve just wandered the town, tried a few rides, saw Blue Man Group last night, and will perhaps catch a movie on this, our last day here.

There has been continuing interest in our case back in Ireland. I’ve received calls and emails from various newspapers, some of whom have written about our ordeal and are following up, others who have just learned about it. I really don’t feel much like talking about our experience in Dublin airport anymore; it’s water under the bridge. My sole hope in speaking to the press was that someone would read it who would have the power to act on our behalf, but no help was forthcoming. While the story has no happy ending, it did have several heroes, most notably Conn Ó Muíneacháin and Bernie Goldbach. Their efforts on our behalf were extraordinary.

Our use of social networks to get the word out is notable, and perhaps worthy of further analysis at a future date. Only my daughter carried a cell phone, but it did not have service (my wife and I brought phones intended to be activated upon arrival). My first call for help came in the form of a tweet, trying to find someone who could contact Conn to let him know we had been detained at the Dublin airport. Twitter and Jaiku became my primary means of communicating with folks in Ireland as we prayed for a miracle that would gain us passage through immigration. The miracle never came.

Many people I have spoken to, both in Ireland and Hawai‘i, are surprised to hear that we are not ruling out the possibility of a return to Ireland. Only time will tell. My wife and daughter would both like to return if an means can be found. We are not willing to take a chance again, so if immigration is now willing to pre-approve student dependents who meet their requirements as stated in their email to ICOS and we are able to obtain such pre-approval, we may return. There are other considerations and I would not say that I am overly-optimistic that it will happen, simply hopeful.

We leave for Hawai‘i tomorrow, and will be happy to see our families and friends again. It seems like we left the state much more than just three weeks ago. I’ll jump back into work again on October 1, and my daughter will return to Ke Kula ‘O N?wah?okalani‘?pu‘u School. We’re not sure at this point what my wife will do. She left her position at UH-Hilo, but as so many of the women in her office are or will soon be on maternity leave, I’m pretty sure they’d hire her back in a flash. It’ll be her call.

Mahalo again to everyone who followed this blog, offered their words of support, prayers and assistance, or simply just followed along as the drama unfolded.

2 comments on “Final Thoughts On Our Dublin Disaster

Quan says:

Hi Keola,

I find this post with keyword ‘phd student visa GNIB wife’ in google. I experienced similar situation as you did last Friday.

If you still want to come to ireland(which is a great country except its immigration policy), you can apply for ‘join spouse visa’ from Irish embassy in America. A colleague of mine brought his wife and son to Dublin last year. He is a PhD student is DCU and he is from Pakistan. The only thing you need to do is to show the visa officer that you have got enough funding for your family (I presume you have got a scholarship).

I am a Phd student from China. My wife applied the ‘join spouse visa’ in China and was refused for the first time but granted after appeal. She came to ireland last month. When we went to the GNIB to extend her visa (which was given one month initially and would be extended to one year), her application to remain in Ireland was rejected. Under the ‘immigration law’ according to the visa officer and he refused to give any reason for refusing her. We went to a solicitor that afternoon and he commented it as ‘you will get the visa if you apply from another window, maybe the visa officer was in a bad day’. Here is my story, and I would like to in Ireland, it is really a beautiful country.

M Buckley says:

“Many people I have spoken to, both in Ireland and Hawai‘i, are surprised to hear that we are not ruling out the possibility of a return to Ireland.”

I found your story on an Irish weblog today. Here’s hoping that your next visit to Ireland will be less dramatic. Personal experience of travelling in Europe has taught me that it’s best to check every detail several times over and ask a lot of questions about one’s status. We all have strange experiences while travelling these days. I met a person in Singapore whose firm had forgotten to give him complete documentation to allow him to continue on his business trip in the Far East. He had to go home to get the rest of the necessary papers.

Hope you enjoy some of the photos on my blog and that they will inspire you to return.

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