Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Equality, Immigration and Integration Fiona O’Loughlin TD has reacted with frustration and disappointment to the refusal by Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan to provide a report on the recent detention in Mountjoy Prison of a Brazilian visitor, Paloma Aparecida Silva-Carvalho, on her arrival in Ireland last week.
Deputy O’Loughlin said, “Earlier this week I submitted a Parliamentary Question to the Minister on this issue and the answer that came back is totally unsatisfactory.
“The Minister claims it would not be appropriate for comment on the individual circumstances of a person refused permission to enter the State. While that might be an acceptable response in other cases and circumstances, it will not wash on this occasion.
“The treatment of Ms. Silva-Carvalho generated enormous public concern and disquiet and it requires a comprehensive explanation.
“The Immigration Act 2004 makes clear that immigration officers act on behalf of the Minister for Justice and he has a duty to account for how they exercise powers on his behalf.
“Why was Ms. Silva-Carvalho strip searched? Why was she, basically, treated like a criminal? These questions need to be answered.
“Today there are media reports indicating that, while the authorities did contact the Brazilian embassy two days ago to apologise for what happened, nobody has apologised to Ms. Silva-Carvalho.
“She says she would like some kind of public statement clarifying that she did not do anything wrong. Minister Flanagan should ensure that this happens without delay and he should also provide a full account of what happened.”