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Deporting autistic child deplorable act of cruelty by the state - Doolan

10 July, 2007

Sinn Féin Cllr. Daithí Doolan has today called on the Department of Justice to acknowledge the exceptional circumstances of six-year old Nigerian Great Agbonlohar who is diagnosed with autism by granting him permission to stay in Ireland.

Speaking ahead of today’s demonstration in support of Great and his family outside the Department of Justice and organized by Residents Against Racism Cllr. Doolan said:

“The wealth of a society is judged by its treatment of the most vulnerable that live within it. Great Agbonlohar is a six-year old Nigerian child who has been living in this country for the last four years and has been diagnosed with autism. Despite both these facts the Department of Justice is seeking to deport him, his twin sister Melissa and mother Olivia back to Nigeria.

“Deporting an autistic child to an under developed country where superstition is still very much part of the culture is a deplorable act of cruelty by the state.

“Great will not have access to the most basic of educational and medical facilities critical to the development of an autistic child. He will also face social exclusion due to a general lack of understanding of his condition in Nigeria.

“It is incomprehensible that in a society as privileged and with such wealth as we enjoy in comparison to the developing world that this government would actively seek to abandon its humanitarian obligations to this child.

 “It would be deeply disappointing to the constituents of Dublin South East who rejected the aggressive right aligned politics of Michel McDowell to have Fianna Fáil implement them with such gusto instead.

“Thousands of people, many of whom are friends and neighbors of the Agbonlohar family, have called on the Department of Justice to grant Great permission to stay in Ireland. The government should and must listen to these demands.” CRÍOCH

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