Woman wanted in UK to serve prison sentence found at rural house in Co Galway

Judge approves extradition of Farah Damji (55), who absconded during London trial and was convicted of breaching restraining order

The High Court has remanded in custody a woman who is wanted in the UK to serve out the remainder of her prison sentence for stalking and breaching a restraining order.

Ugandan-born Farah Damji (55) was arrested on Wednesday by gardaí at a property in rural Co Galway before being brought before a vacation sitting of the High Court in Dublin.

Damji, who has several fraud convictions in a number of jurisdictions, was arrested on foot of a bench warrant issued over her alleged failure to appear before courts that were considering the extradition request. She had claimed she should not be surrendered as the inadequacies of the UK prison system’s mental health services would have an impact on her fundamental rights.

The Supreme Court dismissed her arguments in June and upheld an earlier decision by the High Court to order her surrender to the UK. A stay was placed on the order for her extradition pending the final determination of when her surrender should take place.


Damji had been on bail while her appeal was being considered. However, a bench warrant seeking her arrest was issued after she breached her bail terms.

It was claimed that in breach of one of the terms of her bail she had failed to appear before the Supreme or High Courts when they were considering her case.

Damji appeared before Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds on Wednesday following her arrest by Det Garda Eoin Kane of the Garda Extradition Unit at an address near Ballinasloe.

Following an application by Alison Fynes BL, for the Minister for Justice, the judge agreed to remand Damji in custody pending her extradition.

The judge, after considering the Supreme Court’s decision, also lifted the stay on the extradition order that had previously been granted. She said it appeared that Damji had “exhausted every avenue” available to her regarding the extradition request.

Elise Martin Vignerte, solicitor for Damji, said her client may bring other proceedings, including seeking an inquiry into the legality of her detention, aimed at preventing the extradition from taking place. She asked the court not to lift the stay and to simply to adjourn the proceedings.

The judge said that she was not prepared to leave the stay in place and cleared the way for Damji’s surrender to take place.

Previously the courts had heard Damji came to Ireland having absconded during her trial in London in February 2020. She was convicted in her absence by a London court of twice breaching a restraining order in April and June 2018 and was sentenced to 18 months.

She was arrested in Dublin in August 2020 and detained in custody in this State for seven months, before being granted bail. Damji, who was living at an address in Dublin, also has a criminal record for fraud and theft stretching back to the 1990s.