Irish couple face deportation in ‘28 days’ from Australia because son has cystic fibrosis

Family of Darragh Hyde (3) to make last ditch appeal to Australian minister

An appeal by an Irish couple facing deportation from Australia because their son has cystic fibrosis has been rejected.

Anthony and Christine Hyde’s application for permanent residency was refused because the Australian government deemed three-year-old Darragh’s illness to be a burden on taxpayers.

The couple appealed their case to an administrative review tribunal which formally rejected their plea at a hearing on Tuesday in Melbourne.

But the tribunal has recommended their case be referred to the department of immigration which will decide if the minister should intervene in their case.


The couple will now make a last ditch appeal to Australia's immigration minister David Coleman and beg him to let them stay in the country.

Speaking after the hearing, Christine Hyde said it was a positive result for the family who wanted to get their case in front of the minister.

“Today the visa was refused as expected but our case has been referred to the Minister which was the result we were looking for,” she said.

“We still have a big battle on our hands but we feel we are on the right track. I’m confident that our case will be successful if we can get the minister’s attention.”

Tuesday’s ruling means the couple technically have 28 days to leave Australia but they will be applying for bridging visas so they can remain and fight their case.

The family’s plight has made headlines across Australia and was the subject of a special report on Channel 10’s The Project on Sunday night.

Over 65,000 people have signed a petition calling for the Hydes to be allowed to remain in the country.

Christine works as an assistant principal at a primary school and Anthony is a part-time bus driver.

The couple applied for permanent residency in 2015 before Darragh was born.

Shortly after his birth, the toddler was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF) and their application was rejected on the basis that Darragh would be a burden on the state.

The family argued that Darragh’s condition was mild and had doctors’ reports to back that up. They also argued that Darragh was Australian born and therefore should not be deported.

“Darragh is Australian; he was born in Australia and has never set foot out of Australia. He’s never been to Ireland. It’s really unfair,” his mother said.

Initially their application was rejected on the basis that Darragh would require a costly lung transplant but this was struck out after his doctors argued this was extremely unlikely given how mild his condition was.

However, the state then deemed the cost of the CF drug Kalydeco which Darragh takes and would cost AUD$300,000 (€188,000) per year without state subsidy is a “burden” on taxpayers.

Darragh is currently taking part in trials for CF and his mother hopes this “significant contribution back to society” may help to swing their case.

With Australian elections taking place on May 18th, there could be a change in government with a new minister deciding the family’s fate.

Ms Hyde said “it might work in our favour. We’ve got lots of support from the Labour candidate in our area”.