High Court reporters
The High Court has refused to grant a convicted rapist a last minute injunction that would have prevented his deportation from the State on Friday afternoon.
Mr Justice Max Barrett ruled that the man, a non-EU national who cannot be named for legal reasons, had not made out an arguable case that would allow the court to make an order restraining the Minister of Justice from removing him from Ireland on a flight that took off on Friday afternoon.
The court heard the man was found guilty of raping and assaulting a woman in August 2015.
He was found guilty by a jury at the Central Criminal Court in 2019 and given a five-year prison sentence, of which the final two years were suspended.
The Minister for Justice subsequently made an order for his removal from the State.
The man, who is aged in his 40s and whose wife and family reside in Ireland, had been living in the country for several years. However, his visa had expired, and he had no permission to legally reside in the State.
In judicial review proceedings, the man sought to halt his proposed deportation on the grounds that he had applied for permission to remain in the State under the Undocumented Migrant Scheme.
That scheme was set up by the Minister for Justice to regularise undocumented people who have been living in Ireland for some time.
The man had made an application while serving his sentence in the Midlands Prison.
However, his application, he claimed, had not yet been processed, and he was seeking an order halting his deportation in order for him to be allowed to remain in the State until a decision has been finalised.
Lawyers for the State opposed the application and argued his deportation should be allowed to proceed.
The State claimed the man's application could proceed without him being present in the State.
While no decision has been made in his case, the court was told that one of the criteria to be considered was that any applicant must be of good character.
Given the nature and seriousness of the man's conviction, the State submitted that at the very least he faced an "uphill challenge" to be granted permission under the scheme to remain in Ireland.
In his ruling, Mr Justice Barrett said he had to take into account the nature of the man's crimes and the fact that he could maintain his application under the scheme even if he is removed from the country.
The court was not satisfied that, in the circumstances, the main had made out a fair argument that would allow the court to grant the man an injunction.
The court therefore dismissed the injunction application, clearing the way for his deportation.