Ms Y held in UK after failing to obtain abortion here

Woman arrested for illegally entering the UK from Ireland

Ms Y, the asylum seeker who unsuccessfully sought an abortion after arriving in Ireland pregnant as a result of alleged rape, was arrested in Liverpool five weeks before her baby was born by Caesarean section, The Irish Times has learned.

She was held by police for more than 11 hours after being arrested for illegally entering the UK from Ireland on July 1st last. She is believed to have travelled by ferry to Liverpool. Ms Y found out she was pregnant on April 4th this year, shortly after arriving in Ireland on March 28th.


She told a number of agencies she would “rather die” than proceed with the pregnancy because it resulted from rape in her own country and she expressed a wish to have an abortion. Her infant son was delivered in Ireland on August 6th. A copy of her custody summary drawn up by Liverpool police indicates she was arrested at Birkenhead ferry port at 8.35am on July 1st and taken into custody. She had €28 and £1 in cash. She told immigration services she was pregnant and wanted to harm herself. At 2.45pm, according to the summary document, she was noted to be at “medium” risk of self-harm.

Social services

A note timed at 3.49pm stated social services had been contacted. The writer records: “Basically I am querying what options if any there are in regards to [Ms Y] and solicitors representation that police, immigration and social services have a duty of care to [Ms Y] and this may well involve assisting her in obtaining a termination given the alleged circumstances of her pregnancy.”


Two identity cards were among items taken from her while in custody. It is not known how she returned to Ireland. The incident is not recorded in the HSE draft report into her care or in the Department of Justice records on her case.

Kitty Holland

Kitty Holland

Kitty Holland is Social Affairs Correspondent of The Irish Times