Today I am embarassed to be Irish. I wish to extend my apologies and those of all reasonable people in this country to Keola Donaghy and his family.
Keola, who is from Hawaii, arrived earlier today in Dublin with his family to begin his doctoral studies in UCC. He had been assured by the Gardaí in Cork and by UCC that there was no issue with him coming. He has spent months preparing for this move.
At immigration today in the Airport he was told that he could enter but his family could not. Students cannot come with dependents! Keloa declined to break up his family and they will all soon be on a plane back to New York. Many attempts have been made by people today to keep them in the country but to no avail.
I am disgusted by this. Keola has been communicating with many of us in the Irish blogosphere and twittersphere over the past few months. We were all looking forward to meeting him and welcoming him to Ireland. Instead a bunch of people who are answerable to almost no-one decided he didn’t fit some nonsense arbitrary criteria.
Ignoring the general issue of immigration control, the fact that we block ANY American coming here is a farce. We would still be scrabbling for rotting potatoes in muck if it wasn’t for the kindness of the USA and its citizens over the past 160 years. We should shake the hand of every Yank who comes through immigration control in Dublin or Shannon and thank them for letting us go to the US in our thousands.
I don’t know what we can do about this considering that immigration is effectively run by a cabal of bureaucrats whose powers far exceed any that should be acceptable in a democracy. Whoever is responsible for the sort of bullshit terms and conditions which led to Keola heading home needs to change them now! Or was that person thrown out in the last election?
If you know of anything that can be done to remove this stain on our character, please do so.
In addition, whoever in UCC or the Gardaí is responsible for this horrendous error should be removed from that role immediately.
Once again Keola, my apologies for this, those involved should all be ashamed of themselves.