Wednesday 20 March 2019

'My mum woke me up to tell me' - schoolboy (14) is 'overwhelmed' at decision to ditch deportation order

Nonso Muojeke from Tullamore
Nonso Muojeke from Tullamore
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

A 14-year-old schoolboy who was fearing deportation and has been granted leave to remain in Ireland said he is "happy and overwhelmed".

Nonso Muojeke, along with his brother Viktor and mother Chidiebere, were issued with a deportation order in June.

He has now been granted leave to remain in Ireland after his classmates campaigned against his deportation.

Students and teachers at Tullamore College, where Nonso is a pupil, held protests outside Leinster House and presented Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan with a petition to stop the deportation.

Yesterday, the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) confirmed that the three family members had been granted permission to remain in the State.

Speaking to RTE Radio One's Morning Ireland, Nonso said his mother woke him up in the middle of the night to share the good news.

"I heard it at 12, 1am in the morning. My mum woke me up to tell me, she was so happy, she kept on talking, she was texting all the people who helped and supported us," Nonso said.

"I'm so happy and overwhelmed from hearing the news. I was thinking what's going to happen now.

"Most of the time I was worried about my mum, now it's gone and I feel super happy that my family don't have to worry about this anymore."

Nonso said his plan is to "study really well" and pursue his dream career in basketball.

"I'm going to study really well and if that doesn't happen, I'm going to train and practise a lot in basketball.

"I was hoping to go study in America, I'd probably join a basketball association there... and hopefully get drafted," he added.

Nonso's classmates said they "blasted" his story on social media to encourage people to sign their petition.

"The school did everything they could to help," one said.

"We did up posters and paraded around, we had pamplets outside businesses so every single person in Tullamore know what the petition meant.

"We had so many signatures, not just from Tullamore, from everywhere around the world."

According to Fine Gael TD Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, this position was arrived at following a detailed re-consideration of the family's immigration case in light of court proceedings and the receipt of updated submissions from the family in September.

Ms Corcoran-Kennedy said: "I am delighted to secure confirmation from my colleague, the Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, that Nonso and his family have been granted leave to remain."

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