Just 6 people had their refugee status cancelled in past 5 years

Person must be considered a danger to security of the State before status is revoked

Just six people have had their refugee status cancelled by the Irish Government in the past five years, with no revocations recorded since 2016.

The hurdles that must be cleared before refugee status can be revoked are especially high, and the person must be considered to be a danger “to the community of the State”, the Department of Justice said.

Someone granted refugee status, or subsidiary protection status, which affords similar protections, must be deemed to be a danger to the security of the State before their protections can be removed.

However, lower order protection, known as permission to remain, can be removed for lesser crimes, and the individual will then also face deportation, if so decided by the Department of Justice.


Once a person has had their permission to remain in the State removed and exhausted due process, they are served with a notification of intention to deport. However, this becomes more complicated if a person faces a threat to their family or private life, or their safety when returned to their country of origin, or the constitutional rights of an Irish citizen are affected.

“Clearly a deportation order cannot be made where there is a credible threat to the relevant person’s life if returned to their country of origin,” a departmental spokesperson said.

The reason for the six cancellations is not disclosed, but the data suggests that the number of refugees who were granted permission to remain and were convicted of a crime and had their protection cancelled is low.

However, the department said it did not keep records on the numbers of people who have had this status revoked, but a spokesman said “the numbers of cases where this would have happened would be small”.

The Garda National Immigration Bureau is responsible for providing relevant information to the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service when a third-country national has been convicted of a crime, or where they are facing criminal charges.

In practice, a department spokesman said there was “day-to-day contact” between the two organisations in relation to immigration cases where there was criminal activity associated with the case.

Jack Horgan-Jones

Jack Horgan-Jones

Jack Horgan-Jones is a political reporter with The Irish Times