[Sinn Fein]

2nd March 1999

Asylum Granted to 13 Roma People in Co. Monaghan

Two Castleblayney-Based Refugees Refused Asylum

Thirteen of the Roma people who are living in hostel accomodation in Castleblayney, County Monaghan have had their appeals against deportation upheld and are to be granted asylum in Ireland. Two of the Roma have been refused asylum and the remaining families still await the outcome of their appeals.

Notification of the appeal outcome for 15 of the Roma were received on Monday and Sinn Fein TD for Cavan/Monaghan Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has welcomed the granting of asylum to 13 of the refugees but said that ``urgent action'' was now needed to prevent the deportation of the two people refused asylum.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

``The granting of asylum is very positive news. I welcome these 13 adults and children to our country and our community. I commend the courageous stand of the Monaghan Roma Support Group who have championed the cause of these families who came to our county having fled persecution in their homeland of Romania.

``The refusal of asylum to two of the Roma - Demien Anghel and Valentin Anghel - is totally unacceptable. I will now be making fresh representations to the Minister for Justice John O'Donoghue to grant an amnesty to these and other asylum-seekers. Urgent action is needed to prevent the deportation of these two men or of any of the Roma community who have been welcomed in County Monaghan.''

Deputy Ó Caoláin acccompanied a delegation of the Monaghan Roma Support Group who met An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern on 23 December 1998.

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