Ireland deports three out of four asylum seekers from Arab Spring nations

Less than one quarter of asylum seekers from three countries rocked by popular protests against undemocratic rulers since the New Year were given permission to stay in Ireland since 2001, department of justice figures reveal.

Of the 404 asylum applications from Tunisia, Libya and Egypt received, 306 were refused by the minister for justice.

The ministers during the period were John O’Donoghue, Michael McDowell, Brian Lenihan, Dermot Ahern and (since January of this year) Brendan Smith.

Photo: Tunisians protest in January 2011 Image via Nasser Nouri /Flikr
Tunisians protest in January 2011
Image via Nasser Nouri /Flikr

Applicants from Libya fared best as asylum seekers, with a 52 percent success rate (73/213), while Tunisians did poorest. Of eleven applicants, only one was granted asylum. Of the 181 Egyptians who applied for asylum, only 24 (15 percent) were successful.

As of the end of January 2011, four applications for asylum were outstanding, from two Tunisians and two Libyan nationals.

Asylum seekers are less likely to be granted refugee status or any other form or protection in Ireland than in any other country in Europe except for Greece, according to EU statistics published last Summer.

The report showed that only four percent of asylum seekers were successful in 2009.

Ireland accounted for only 0.5 percent of asylum seekers granted recognition, but over two percent of applicants.