A CAMPAIGNING solicitor from Bantry has offered to represent a Ballydehob-based American woman facing deportation on March 31st next.
Brian Harrington of Harrington & Company in Bantry – who has been involved in a number of landmark cases – offered his services after hearing Gayle Stacey’s extraordinary story on Joe Duffy’s Liveline show last Thursday.
Speaking to The Southern Star from her lakeside home at Rathravane in Ballydehob, Gayle admitted she is feeling ‘emotionally and spiritually exhausted’ by the Department of Justice’s insistence that she leave the country by the end of this month.
But she said she is heartened by the response to the Joe Duffy show and the fact that the people of Ballydehob have started a petition, which has been distributed to every pub, restaurant, shop and business in the locality.
At this stage, the 67-year old pensioner is packing up her belonging because she doesn’t meet the immigration department’s requirements that she have a yearly income of €50,000, and €150,000 in her bank account.
A statement from the Department of Justice said that ‘the simple fact that someone may wish to settle here as a retired person does not, of itself, create an entitlement for that person to do so’.
They added that: ‘Over a number of years retired persons seeking to come to Ireland to live has become a prominent new channel for migration into the State.’
But, the spokesperson added that, following a public consultation process in October 2016, the immigration service undertook a review of this policy.‘This review is currently being finalised,’ he said.