Sixteen Pakistani nationals sent home after deportation appeals turned down
Sixteen Pakistani nationals have been sent back to their home country after their appeals against deportation were turned down.
They include seven removed from the direct provision system.
The group opted not to take part in a voluntary return programme, in which illegal immigrants are offered help to go back home, including payment of flights, a small sum towards assisting them to re-integrate and resettle when they have arrived in Pakistan.
Officials from the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (Inis) say assisted voluntary return is the preferred method of removing persons from the State and enforced removals are considered as a last resort.
They group, who were all adult males, were sent back on a chartered flight from Dublin airport to Islamabad in Pakistan, with a planned stopover in Berlin.
This was part of an operation, led by Germany, in conjunction with other EU member states and Frontex, the European border and coastguard agency.
The group were accompanied on the flight by officers from the Garda national immigration bureau, two medical staff and an independent monitor.
The deportations took place on Thursday after the 16 had exhausted all of their legal options to remain here, including appeals processes.
Further charter flights are planned later in the year.