Irish man with extensive criminal history deported from Australia

Failed to declare criminal past, including possession of drugs and bomb-making material

A man with an extensive criminal history in Ireland has been deported from Australia.

The 28-year-old, who is from Northern Ireland, cannot be named for legal reasons.

He entered Australia on a working holiday visa in January 2013, without having declared his criminal past, which included possession of drugs and bomb-making material.

His criminal history only came to light when it was discovered that he had overstayed his visa.


During a subsequent background investigation, the Australian authorities found that the man was a known criminal and initiated procedures to locate him, detain him and then remove him from the country.

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton said his removal is a warning to other people who are planning to apply for an Australian visa and try to hide their criminal past.

“Australia will not be a destination for criminals to avoid charges in other countries,” he said.

“The man did not declare his previous criminal convictions in Ireland which included possession of drugs and bomb making material.

“I have previously made it clear that one of my priorities would be to remove those with serious criminal behaviour who are not Australian citizens.This is another example of a criminal removed from the Australian community.

“People who do not respect the law and do not uphold the values of Australia are not welcome,” Mr Dutton said.

The Department of Immigration is not aware of the man having committed any offence in Australia other than not declaring his criminal past, and overstaying his visa.

The Irish Times understands that there was no request from the authorities in either the Republic or the North to have him extradited from Australia.

“As part of a compliance operation we found out about his criminal past and didn’t want him in the country,” a Department of Immigration spokeswoman said.

In the application form for a working holiday visa, there are 17 questions regarding criminal history.

These range from the general – Have you ever been convicted of an offence in any country? – to the very specific – Have you ever been associated with an organisation engaged in violence or engaged in acts of violence(including war, insurgency, freedom fighting, terrorism, protest) either overseas or in Australia?

Pádraig Collins

Pádraig Collins

Pádraig Collins a contributor to The Irish Times based in Sydney