A family living in Cork who recently gained attention online for their distribution of hand-made face masks are facing deportation after three years of living in Ireland.
Raminder Singh, his wife Harinder Kaur and their three children came to Ireland from India three years ago and are currently living in the Kinsale Road Direct Provision Centre. However, in January of this year, the family received a letter informing them that that they cannot remain in Ireland and they are now facing deportation to their home country.
“They were very afraid when they got the deportation letter and she [Harinder] is very depressed- she’s very depressed,” said Dawood Khan, a friend of the family.
“But now, they are just doing something to divert their attention.”
The family are heavily involved in their community and recently gained attention online for their distribution of face masks in Cork city centre. The face masks were hand-made by Harinder and were handed out to the people of Cork free of charge. Mr Khan described this gesture as a way “to help Irish people”.
“They got a very good response from people but they are not looking for attention…they are just trying to help Irish people,” he said.
The family have made Cork their home, and youngest son, Gurcharan plays cricket for Cork Harlequins, while daughter Sandeep is training to be a beautician and dreams of having her own business in Cork. The oldest son, Gursewak is a talented tabla player and has performed with the Citadel band in Cork.
“They want to live here. They are very happy and they have some life-threatening problems in their own country and they do not want to go back- that is why they are afraid. That is why they are struggling and trying their best to stay here” he said.
The family of five currently have 2,000 signatures on an online petition which was set up on their behalf to keep them in Ireland, though they hope to increase the number of signatures to 10,000 in a bid to make a stronger case and to be granted the right to stay in the country.
To sign the petition to keep the Singh family in Ireland, visit the Change.org petition