Friday 24 November 2017

Dublin solicitor loses court bid for Australian visa

Solicitor Vincent O' Donoghue pictured in Killiney in 2002. Photo: Tony Gavin
Solicitor Vincent O' Donoghue pictured in Killiney in 2002. Photo: Tony Gavin

An Irish solicitor who fled to Australia nine years ago, and who has been in and out of a west Australian jail awaiting extradition on fraud charges, has failed to have a decision to reject his permanent visa application overturned.

On Monday, a federal court judge dismissed Dubliner Vincent O'Donoghue's third attempt to appeal a decision to reject his application for a permanent resident visa.

O'Donoghue, who was arrested in late 2004 on foot of an extradition warrant issued by the gardai in relation to a Dublin property company, has been fighting warrants for his extradition for the last seven years.

The solicitor and property dealer arrived in Australia in 2002, married his partner and now has four young children.

In 2003, he applied for a permanent visa under the Employer Nomination Scheme on the basis he would be employed as a legal consultant for Queensland law firm, Hope Lawyers. But due to his pending extradition, the Department of Immigration put his visa application 'on hold' until the matters were resolved.

O'Donoghue, who was declared bankrupt in 1993 over a debt of £320,000, claims the Irish taxpayers have had to foot a bill running into millions of euro trying to have him extradited over an alleged property deal valued at less than €50,000.

"They've broken by heart, my bank account and my balls for five years," says the colourful O'Donoghue, who first became widely known in Dublin property circles when he bought Archbishop John Charles McQuaid's Killiney palace as his residence in the 1980s.

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