Friday 24 January 2020

Millstreet resident not allowed to marry here

AN Irishman and a woman who claims to be Somali -- but whose fingerprints matched those of a Tanzanian national -- have lost their bid to be allowed to marry in Cork.

In the high court last week, Mr Justice John Hedigan said it was clear Lelia Ismail Tahir "has at least two identities".

The judge dismissed the challenge by Ms Tahir, of Drishane Castle accommodation centre, Millstreet, and Raymond Paul Sheehan, of Shandon Street, Cork, to refusals by the Registrar for Co Cork and an tard Chlaraitheoir to issue them with a marriage registration form.

They had been refused because Ms Tahir had not provided sufficient evidence of her claimed Somalian identity

Ms Tahir arrived in Ireland in June 2008 and applied for asylum, the Irish Independent reported. Some weeks after her appeal against a subsequent refusal of asylum was rejected, she and Mr Sheehan decided to marry.

They were given an appointment for late June 2010 to fulfil the necessary requirements to provide the required three month notification of their intention to marry.

Their solicitors wrote to the Registrar in late May 2010, stating that Ms Tahir was a Somali national who was unable to obtain identity documents.

On being told evidence of identity was required under law, their solicitors replied there was difficult obtaining identity documents from Somalia.

The identity issue remained unresolved during several visits by the couple to the Registrar's office. After their third visit in August 2010, a detective from the Garda National Immigration Bureau ( GNIB) informed the registrar he believed Ms Tahir was not from Somalia.

The Registrar referred the file to an tard Chlaraitheoir who contacted the GNIB and was advised there were serious questions about Ms Tahir's identity.

Dismissing their case, Mr Justice Hedigan said Ms Tahir had claimed to be a Somali national but failed to state athat sylum was refused because her fingerprints matched those of a Tanzanian national.

Ms Tahir's explanation for the matching fingerprints - that they were, effectively, stolen - lacked credibility.