The Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland (MASI) is deeply disturbed by the presence and participation of a member of the International Protection Appeals Tribunal (IPAT) in a rally organised by well known anti-migrant groups and individuals including the Irish Freedom Party.
Questions arise on Ms Una McGurk’s impartiality when assessing appeals for international protection whilst associating herself with anti-migrant groups, individuals, and attends and speaks at rallies organised by them. A quick scroll through her social media accounts reveals that her support for the Irish Freedom Party did not start this weekend.
MASI calls on the Minister to:
1. Seek an immediate suspension of Ms McGurk and report into her conduct from the Chairperson of IPAT.
2. Remove Ms McGurk from her post for a clear breach of the tribunal’s code of conduct.
3. Review any tribunal decisions made by Ms McGurk.
4. Revoke any deportation orders issued after her recommendations to the Minister (from the date of Ms McGurk’s appointment).
5. Bring back to Ireland any asylum seeker who was deported after appearing before Ms McGurk.
6. And finally, establish a commission of inquiry into the tribunal’s decisions as members seem to have an alarmingly high rejection rate.
We believe the Minister, as the only person in the State with the power to declare a person to be a refugee, has acted under biased recommendations from Ms McGurk which undermines the principle of non-refoulement and the Geneva Convention on the status of refugees. We look forward to your urgent action on this matter.