Local Fianna Fáil TD, Barry Cowen has written to the Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan requesting that he uses his right as Minister to grant leave to remain for the Muojeke family of Tullamore in Ireland if their appeal to the Immigration Appeals Tribunal is turned down.

Deputy Cowen was commenting as it is expected that the Appeals Tribunal will issue its decision next week.

“Irrespective of the Tribunal’s decision next week, I believe that the Minister must ensure that this family are allowed to remain in Ireland which has been, for all intents and purposes, their home for the past 11 years.

“This family have integrated well into the local community; they identify as Irish, the children are excelling in school, and should be allowed to stay in this country.

“I do not believe that the decision to not grant them Humanitarian Leave to remain in 2017 was right or proper. Minister Fitzgerald, the then Justice Minister, by not ensuring that the best interests of the children were taken into account, failed to do the right thing.

“The family are not a burden on the State, have never claimed social welfare benefits or indeed Children’s Allowance, and have always attempted to deal honestly with the INIS and Department.

“I am imploring the Minister to do the right thing by Mrs. Muokeje, and her two sons, Victor and Nonso, and let them stay in the country that they now call home,” concluded Cowen