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Minister must review Great Agbonlahor case - Doolan

19 July, 2007

Dublin Sinn Féin Councillor Daithí Doolan has called on the Minister for Justice Brian Lenihan to allow the autistic Nigerian boy, Great Agbonlahor to stay in Ireland. Councillor Doolan made his comments today at a protest on burgh Quay organised in support of the Agbonlahor family.

He said, "One of Michael McDowell's last decisions before being rejected by the electorate, was to uphold a court decision to deport the Agbonlahor family. This was despite the fact that the court decision had to be taken without regard to Great Agbonlahor's condition as the diagnosis was made after the hearing but before the ruling. In fact the Judge acknowledged that it was a harsh decision but he could not take the diagnosis into account and I understand that he urged the solicitor to request a further review.

"This new evidence provides the new Justice Minister Brian Lenihan with an opportunity to review case and I would appeal to him to do so.

"This young boy has never even lived in Africa. To move him to Nigeria, a developing country without resources and conditions needed to treat him, will only exacerbate his condition.

"It was hoped Minister Lenihan would take a more humanitarian approach to cases that should be viewed on an individual basis especially where new evidence has come to light. I would appeal to him to take this approach rather than continuing with Michael McDowell's reign of terror." ENDS

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