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