Detention of Brazilian tourist


Sir, – Could there be a more stark example of the dysfunction that seems endemic to so many of our public institutions than the awful treatment of 24-year-old Paloma Aparecida Silva-Carvalho (News, July 20th)? Bear in mind that this young woman is a visitor to our country, returning to Ireland for a holiday after previously working here, without problem, as an au pair. She was even invited to stay with the Galway family, “her friends”, for whom she worked last year. As a Brazilian national, she is entitled to be here for up to 90 days without a visa. Instead of the welcome she no doubt fully, and rightly, expected, she was detained, taken to prison, strip-searched, then told she would be immediately deported.

Despite the widespread publicity her case has already received, she has been given less than a fortnight’s temporary leave to stay in Ireland.

How on earth can this inhumane, Kafkaesque, thing have happened? No one in a position of authority seems so far to be able to give any sort of adequate explanation. Perhaps we’ll need another expensive “scoping report” and judicial inquiry to find out. It seems to be the only way we can ever hope to get to the bottom of anything these days. – Yours, etc,


Arbour Hill,

Dublin 7.

Sir, – A young Brazilian woman lands at Dublin Airport for what she and her Galway hosts say was a holiday.

On arrival, she is arrested by immigration authorities and imprisoned in Mountjoy, where she has to strip naked for a search.

This is in spite of the fact that she had previously lived and worked in Ireland and was not known to have breached any of her visa conditions.

Her treatment contrasts remarkably with the Government’s appointment of a TD to plead the case for illegal Irish immigrants in the US.

Isn’t it time our Government demonstrated a little consistency in these matters? – Yours, etc,


Dublin 4.

Sir, – Had a young Irish woman been detained on arrival in a foreign airport, taken to prison, without charge, strip-searched and thrown into a cell with a vomiting cell-mate, we would be rightly incensed. Criminals are treated more humanely.

There are many young women here visiting us, is this now a risk for all of them as they arrive in our country of the welcomes?

Explanation and apologies are urgently required. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 14.