Resist Racist Deportations


In December Minister for Justice, John O'Donoghue, announced a "fast-track" procedure for dealing with the backlog in applications for asylum in Ireland. This announcement came hot on the heels of a Supreme Court judgement which ruled that a Russian woman, Olga Anisimova, should be deported to Britain, because she had passed through that country on her way here.

This judgement has the effect of extending the effects of the 'Dublin Convention' to all asylum seekers. This EU convention states that applications for asylum must be made in the first EU country in which an asylum seeker arrives. Given that practically no-one can come to Ireland without passing through another European country, the 'Dublin Convention' gives the Irish authorities a practical 'carte blanche' for refusing access to the state.

John O'Donoghue is already on record as saying that up to 90% of current applications for asylum are likely to be refused. As a direct result of the ruling in the Anisimova case, there are already up to 60 people facing the threat of deportation. It is imperative that all anti-racists immediately organise to campaign against these threatened deportations. Such a campaign has much to learn from anti-racism campaigns throughout Europe such as the 'Sans Papiers' movement in France.

Links must be built with workers in the airports and the ferryports to try to ensure their refusal to co-operate with deportations. We must also look to building strong links with groups of asylum seekers such as the Association of Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Ireland, and be prepared to take direct action protest activities to prevent people being thrown out of the country.

A strong publicity campaign is needed to win the hearts and minds of Irish workers away from the racist arguments being put forward by politicians and sections of the media. Contact the Anti-Racism Campaign, get involved and help prevent the racist pro-deportation policies of the government.


This article is from Workers Solidarity No 53 published in January 1998