Ó Donnghaile meets De Souza Family in Belfast
Sinn Féin Senator Niall Ó Donnghaile today met with Emma and Jake De Souza to discuss their complex case in obtaining residency for Jake here in Ireland.
Speaking after the meeting, An Seanadóir Ó Donnghaile said:
“This is no doubt a complex case and one which challenges the very core principles of the Good Friday Agreement and the rights it affords to those of us resident in the North who are Irish citizens.
“Many people have great respect for the stand taken by Ms De Souza in asserting her rights as an Irish citizen and Irish citizen only.
“This is of course a right the GFA afforded people here in 1998, a right overwhelming endorsed by the people of Ireland, North and South, in referenda.
“Last week, I raised this case on the floor of the Seanad; I have also written to Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney seeking clarity from the Irish Government regarding their stance on this case and the broader issue. Following today’s meeting, I hope to engage with a broad range of stakeholders to ensure that Emma's rights under the GFA are upheld as this case progresses through the legal system.
“What is clear is that Emma and Jake De Souza should have the right to stay here and build a life together. That is all they want, they should not be prohibited from doing that due to bureaucracy. The British Home Office should respect the spirit and legislative standing of the GFA and end the undue stress and burger being placed on this young couple.”