December 6, 2018

Who says signing petitions doesn’t work?

A 14-year-old and his family, who were facing deportation after their application for asylum in Ireland was denied, have been granted clemency after more than 22,000 people signed a petition addressed to Ireland’s minister for justice.

Nonso Muojeke has lived in Ireland since he was 2 years old. His mother, Chidi, fled Nigeria after purportedly suffering serious abuse from her brother-in-law following the death of her husband.

She managed to take Nonso and his brother to Ireland, and have resided there since 2007.

Their application for asylum was denied in 2009, however, and they faced deportation. The State’s decision came as a shocking blow to Nonso.

“I was mostly thinking about what’s going to happen now, what’s going to happen in my future?” he told Morning Ireland. “We’ve been reading the documents, how we have to go through everything to finally solidify the residency process.”

Having grown up in Ireland, Nonso is not accustomed to life in Nigeria, nor does he speak the language of his home country.

“Nonso has lived virtually his whole life here—over 11 years,” Nonso’s teacher, Joe Caslin, told the Irish Examiner. “Forcing him to leave the only home he knows will inflict great harm on this young boy.”

In addition to the fact that Nonso is arguably more Irish than Nigerian, there was also the concern that he and his family would face abuse by Chidi’s brother-in-law on their return.

The Staff of Tullamore College stand with Nonso to support the plea for clemency which would allow him to stay here where he belongs. Please sign the on line petition.

Posted by Tullamore College on Thursday, May 24, 2018

So, with the strong backing of the petition’s supporters, the case was reconsidered and finally determined that deporting the schoolboy back to his home country would be an irresponsible act by the State, who thus made the decision to allow them all to stay in Ireland.

“I didn’t really expect it to come so soon,” says Nonso, reports BabylonRadio.

“I would have expected another year or two. When I heard it at 1 o’clock in the morning, my mom woke me up just to tell me, she was so happy, she kept on talking about it, she was texting Joe and Ann and all the people who supported us.”

We are very grateful to Revd William Hayes, to Fr Joseph Gallagher and to Revd Alison Irvine, the Clergy of Tullamore…

Posted by Tullamore College on Saturday, May 26, 2018

Nonso is greatly appreciative for all the support he received.

“I would like to thank the Minister [for Justice] for the humane way in which he handled my case,” he said.

“I am very grateful to my friends, my school, the Tullamore community and everyone else who has supported me. I am really looking forward to my future here in Ireland.”

The Students of Tullamore College stand with Nonso to support the plea for clemency which would allow him to stay here…

Posted by Tullamore College on Friday, May 25, 2018

It was not only a victory and huge relief for Nonso and his family but also for his classmates and community.

Teacher Joe Caslin added, “we felt that an incredible injustice was taking place and we were united, we stood behind this simple cause.”

“It was one the greatest lessons that our students learned last year and this year,” he said. “They can make an impact, that a simple thing, if you follow it through that you have a voice, that’s a life lesson for our kids.”

It’s important to stand up for each other’s well-being, and good results may indeed bless those who truly deserve them … you just need to band together and put in the effort.

Watch the video below:

'I don't think I could ask for better friends'

'I don't think I could ask for better friends': There have been celebrations at Tullamore College in Co Offaly after a 14-year-old student was granted leave to remain in Ireland. Students and teachers at the college had mounted a campaign against the deportation of Nonso Muojeke

Posted by RTÉ News on Thursday, October 11, 2018