Saturday 16 December 2017

Asylum seekers fail to get school move injunction

Aodhan O Faolain

Four teenage asylum seekers planning to sit the Leaving Certificate next June have failed in the bid to secure High Court injunctions against the Health Service Executive (HSE) aimed at allowing them to return to schools they had previously attended in Dublin.

The four girls, who arrived separately in Ireland from Africa in 2008 as unaccompanied minors, were initially placed in care and had attended Dublin schools.

However, after they turned 18, they were relocated to adult hostel accommodation in Galway, where they are attending schools.

The four, who cannot be named for legal reasons, sought injunctions, pending the full hearing of the action, requiring the HSE to put in place an appropriate aftercare plan, including the provision of finances, that would allow them to complete their Leaving Certificate examinations at the schools in Dublin. The HSE had opposed the application.

Yesterday at the High Court, Mr Justice Barry White dismissed the students' application for injunctions on grounds including that he was not satisfied their cases were likely to succeed when they came before the High Court.

The judge also refused an order preventing the HSE from withdrawing their €19 per week allowances and their medical cards if they voluntarily left the accommodation in Galway.

Mr Justice White said it was undesirable for the courts to interfere with the day-to-day issues of a statutory body.

Disrupted

The judge, who accepted that the four girls' lives had been disrupted, said his decision was based on the law and was not a commentary on social or human rights policy.

The judge also said the decision not to grant injunctions at this stage had no bearing on the outcome of the full hearing of the students' action against the HSE, which is due to be mentioned before the President of the High Court Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns in October.

Previously, Mel Christle, for the girls, said if the four were Irish citizens, they would never have been moved from one location to another in the middle of their Leaving Cert cycle.

Opposing the application, Felix McEnroy said the HSE was being asked to provide "private choices" for the four with "public funds".

Irish Independent

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