March 10, 2020

Nigerian with Irish children loses bid to stop deportation from Ireland

A Nigerian man who claims he is the father of two Irish-citizen children by an Irish woman who has since married another man has failed to get a High Court injunction preventing his deportation. The man, who was detained last January on foot of the deportation order, sought the injunction pending proceedings aimed at revoking the deportation order and his separate bid for residency on the basis of parentage of Irish citizen children. In a judgment recently published, Mr Justice Richard Humphreys refused the injunctions. He had “no particular enthusiasm” about doing so, even bearing in mind the man was “the author of his own misfortune”, but there was “no ideal solution” in this case, he said. The man had failed to provide the necessary documents for a valid application, known as a Zambrano application, for residence on the basis of parentage of two Irish citizen children, he found. Had he done so, the legal points he wished to make would be considered, including his claim he might in the future acquire such a relationship with the children they might be compelled to leave the State. Because the children are in the primary custody of their mother, the man’s deportation will not result in the children ceasing to effectively exercise their rights as EU citizens, the judge added. For that and other reasons, including the man’s history of “deception and evasion” meant an injunction would likely mean his disappearance, that the maximum period he could be detained on a deportation order was about to run out at the time of the injunction hearing, and the “speculative nature” of EU law points being made by him, the “only realistic” way to resolve the case was to simply apply existing case law which unfortunately does not favour the man, the judge said. Earlier, the judge outlined the man came here in 2008, had used aliases and had accepted when seeking asylum, he falsely claimed to be from Sierra Leone. His applications for protection failed but a deportation proposal, which was issued in July 2015, was returned to sender. In early 2017, a child appeared to have been born to the man and an Irish woman but the child’s birth certificate did not identify the father. The man got joint guardianship of that child in October 2017. In May 2018, the woman had a second child. The man claimed she had named another man as that child’s father in a further effort to give him, the applicant, “the brush-off”. She has since married the other man. The applicant was detained in Cloverhill prison early last January on foot of a deportation order. About a week later, his custody of the first child was formalised and he got joint guardianship of the second child. The mother had said during the custody proceedings the applicant was the father of her second child and the District Judge was satisfied with that effect. On January 14, 2020, he instructed solicitors to apply to revoke the deportation order and Mr Justice Humphreys granted leave for proceedings to that end and granted an injunction restraining the man’s removal from the State. Also in January, the man applied, for the first time, for leave to remain on basis of Zambrano rights but the Minister for Justice refused on three occasions between January and February 7, 2020, to accept that application because of missing documents. When the revocation proceedings returned before Mr Justice Humphreys on February 11, he refused to grant injunctions preventing the man’s deportation pending the full hearing of that case and the outcome of the residency application.
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