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Fundraiser to help pay legal costs of man facing deportation

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Bernie D’Arcy and Benjamin Akhile. Photo: Ruth Medjber

Bernie D’Arcy and Benjamin Akhile. Photo: Ruth Medjber

Bernie D’Arcy and Benjamin Akhile. Photo: Ruth Medjber

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to raise money for legal fees for Greystones resident Benjamin Akhile, who is at risk of deportation. Mr Akhile, a native of Sierra Leone, received a deportation order on March 16.

He has been residing in Ireland for 14 years.

For seven of those years he has been in a relationship with Bernie D'Arcy, who created the campaign.

During his time in Ireland Ben has completed many courses right up to Fetac 6 and told to apply for university next. His chosen profession was journalism and he has a degree in mass communication.

'To be deported means that he would be sent back to a country where he has neither family or friends left,' reads the information on gofundme.com. 'But he has the support and love of his partner Bernie and a wide circle of friends here in Ireland.

'As he suffers from diabetes 2, hypertension and high blood pressure Ben needs adequate access to medical care equivalent to the access here in Ireland. If deported back to Sierra Leone at 54 he will suffer greatly. He has enriched lives here in Ireland through his daily life and he's has been enriched.'

The fundraising page has been set up to assist Benjamin to pay for his legal costs as he challenges the deportation order. So far over €8,000 has been raised.

A petition has also been established at uplift.ie, by Bulelani Mfaco of Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland.

'Ben and Bernie have provided invaluable support to asylum seekers in Direct Provision over the years, particularly those in emergency Direct Provision centres without adequate material supports,' wrote Bulelani. 'They have been collecting donated items from members of the public and distributing them to asylum seekers. Ben and Bernie are long-time Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland supporters. They have stood with us and now it is time for everyone to stand with them.'

Over 15,000 signatures have been gathered on the petition, which is to Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan.

Bray People