An American woman facing deportation has been told she can stay in the country until September 1st.
BY JACKIE KEOGH
AN American woman facing deportation has been told she can stay in the country until September 1st.
Gayle Stacey (67) was supposed to be on a plane to Boston on March 31st last, but a health setback saw her taken by ambulance to Cork University Hospital, where her cardiologist recommended that she be given two-weeks to recuperate.
Gayle Stacey, who set up home at Rathravane in Ballydehob shortly after she retired, subsequently received a letter issued on behalf of the Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald, which stated that in light of her health difficulties the department had ‘no objection’ to her remaining on a temporary basis until September 1st next.
‘Relieved,’ is the word that Gayle used to describe her reaction to the department’s communication. ‘I’m pleased that I can take the next few months to recuperate and enjoy the summer in West Cork.’
She said: ‘I’d like to thank everybody in Ballydehob. Hundreds and hundreds of people signed a petition calling for me to stay and I’d like to thank them for that.
‘I also want to thank the readers of The Southern Star for their support. Now I can’t go anywhere without being recognised. People keep coming up to me to say: I saw you in the paper and I’m glad you are feeling better. Everybody is thrilled, and you have no idea how happy I am to be able to spend another summer in West Cork.
‘My health is improving every day,’ said Gayle, who admitted that the stress of facing deportation on the grounds that her income was below the €50,000 per annum required by immigration regulations was affecting her health. ‘But since I’ve received the letter from the minister I haven’t stopped smiling.’
Gayle returned to the subject of The Southern Star saying: ‘My landlord, Vincent Coughlan, was in southern Spain recently and an acquaintance asked him about the American lady, he asked: ‘Did she get deported?’
Gayle said: ‘He must have had a way of buying it locally, or has a digital subscription, but it goes to show you the reach of The Sout hern Star.’