Convicted sex offender granted temporary court order preventing deportation

Challenge says refusal to revoke deportation disproportionate and in breach of EU law

A convicted sex offender and father of two young children has obtained a temporary High Court order preventing his deportation from the State. The man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, is a Nigerian national and has been living in Ireland for the last 11 years.

The High Court heard on Tuesday that the man came to Ireland as a teenager with his family, who are now all Irish citizens. Over the years, he had been granted permission by the Irish authorities to reside in the State. He was convicted of sexual assault following an incident that occurred more than seven years ago and he was jailed for 12 months.

After completing his sentence, he was released from prison and was granted further permission to remain in Ireland. However, the prison sentence he received was appealed by the DPP to the Court of Appeal. That court increased the sentence to one of three years in prison on the basis the original sentence was unduly lenient.

A subsequent application made by the man to continue to live here was refused and a deportation order was issued against him in May of last year. The man’s lawyers sought to have that decision, made by the Minister for Justice, revoked. That application was turned down. The man claims the decision is wrong and has brought proceedings against the Minister for Justice, the State and the Attorney General.


In his action, he seeks an order quashing a decision of December 16th last refusing to revoke a deportation order against him. The challenge is brought on several grounds including that the refusal to revoke the deportation order is disproportionate and in breach of EU law. Paul O’Shea told the High Court his client lived with the mother of one of his children and the child and also played “an active role in the upbringing of his other child”.

Mr O'Shea said another ground of the man's action was that the rights and best interest of the child with whom he lived were not considered. He said the man's Irish citizen partner had said she was prepared to move to Nigeria with their child if the man was deported.

Mr O'Shea said this would effectively mean their child would be forced to leave the EU. This situation would come about not because of the parents' choice but rather the Minister's intentions to deport the man. This situation, he submitted, breached principles set down by the Court of Justice of the European Union.

The man also sought an injunction after he was told to report to the Garda National Immigration Bureau in Dublin next Tuesday. Mr O'Shea said his client did not know if he would be deported on that day or not. It was not the bureau or the Minister's policy to inform those in his client's situation exactly when they were due to be deported, he added.

The interim injunction and permission to bring the challenge were granted on an ex-parte basis, where only one side was represented in court, by Mr Justice Robert Haughton. He made the case returnable to January 16th.