The Prime Minister of Ireland, Micheál Martin said that people should not be deported to red zone countries or states where the level of COVID-19 is much worse than in Ireland.
Martin was responding to Gary Gannon (MP), who had said that Ireland had made international headlines last weekend and ‘not in a good way’ following reports that two healthcare workers from Zimbabwe faced deportation.
Gannon told the Taoiseach (Prime Minister of Ireland) it was wrong to deport healthcare workers who had helped the country in fighting the novel coronavirus.
This comes after the CNN ran a story with the headline: “They saved lives during the pandemic – now they’re facing deportation from Ireland.” Said, Gannon:
Given the fact that we are going through a pandemic, that we said we are all in this together, that we all suffer together, isn’t now the time to draw a line under that and to stop the deportations of people who contribute to the healthcare system.
It is very important that we intervene and ensure that people who have helped us through this time can stay here and become part of this Republic.
According to a report by CNN, “Lily”, a Zimbabwean who works at a nursing home in Ireland, received a letter, from Ireland’s Department of Justice and Equality informing her that she no longer had permission to remain in the country.
She was told to return to Zimbabwe voluntarily or be deported. The letter gave her five days to inform the authorities of her decision.