Stop Great's Deportation

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The case of Great Agbonlohar demonstrates once more the cruel and heartlesss nature of the Irish government’s deportation policy.

Great is a 6-year-old boy who has been diagnosed as autistic. Along with his twin sister, Melissa, Great was born in Italy and all 3 have lived in Clonakilty Co. Cork since March 2003 when the children were two years old. His family have spent the past two years fighting their proposed deportation to Nigeria. Great’s mother, Olivia, claims that Great would be treated as an outcast in Nigeria because of his condition and that his twin sister Melissa would be seen as a “voodoo sibling”.

The community in which the Agbonlohar family have lived for the past 4 years in Clonakilty have swarmed to their defence and a petition signed by 3,000 people has been handed into the Department of Justice demanding that they be allowed to stay. Last April, the family lost a judicial review challenge to attempts to deport them. Former Minister for Justice Michael McDowell refused to overturn the deportation order and current Justice Minister Brian Lenihan appears determined to show that it’s business as usual at the Department for Deportations. Just last week, Lenihan said that he saw no basis to revoke the deportation order issued by McDowell.

July 19th is the new D-Day for this family as they have been ordered to present themselves at the Garda National Immigration Bureau on that date for deportation. But Brian Lenihan still has the authority to stop this deportation, and the weight of public opinion can yet force him to change the decision. You can add your voice to that weight of public opinion by writing to the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, 94 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2 or by Email to