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RTÉ promotes rejected asylum seeker and Social Democrat candidate running for election in Dublin


PI Member
Oct 10, 2018
ENAR upset over "unsympathetic" exposé on rejected asylum seeker Ellie Kisyombe in The Times

An exposé in the Sunday Times on Social Democrat candidate Ellie Kisyombe has come under criticism from the European Network Against Racism.

Ellie Kisyombe's campaign to become a councillor in north inner city Dublin has been promoted widely across the media. She was interviewed on Today FM and RTÉ and was featured in both the Irish Times and Independent. Her image has also been projected onto the GPO.

As previously highlighted, after a soft interview with Ray D'Arcy, it was Matt Cooper who first got her to admit that she has failed her asylum claim but has been appealing the decision and this is why she has been in Direct Provision for eight years.

Now Mark Tighe for the Sunday Times has revealed that Kisyombe attempted to claim asylum in the UK in 2011 before being transferred back to Ireland, where she already had a student visa. Tighe also revealed that in 2014, Kisyombe was arrested and placed in detention in the UK on suspicion of illegal entry. This resulted in a second request by UK authorities to have her removed to Ireland.

"The Sunday Times has established that Kisyombe studied at Bristol University between 2007 and 2010 before returning to Malawi. She arrived in Ireland on or about April 30, 2011, and was granted a student visa that allowed her to remain here to study until June 15, 2012.

"Soon after arriving in Ireland, Kisyombe travelled to the UK where she applied for asylum. In July 2011 she was screened at the Croydon asylum unit in London. British authorities asked their Irish counterparts to take Kisyombe back, in line with an EU convention. Kisyombe applied for asylum in Ireland on November 9, 2011.

"In her media interviews Kisyombe says she has been in direct provision since coming to Ireland. However, she left Ireland to go to the UK in either late 2012 or early 2013.

"On March 3, 2014, Kisyombe was arrested and placed in detention in the UK on suspicion of illegal entry. This resulted in a second request by UK authorities to have her removed to Ireland. She was brought back on May 2, 2014."

[Screenshot of report]

Also, Kisyombe had told Matt Cooper that she had gotten a direct flight to Ireland from Ethiopia but there were no flights to Ireland from the African country in 2010 or 2011.

ENAR's Shane O'Curry talked to Matt Cooper yesterday and told him he was upset with the Times exposé because it had "an unsympathetic framing" and had the potential to "enable or exacerbate racism".

"Our interest in this case is that ENAR Ireland are the co-coordinating organisation of 87 member organisations in Ireland all concerned with various manifestations of racism. One of the areas of racism that we're interested in is online racism and any framings in the media that have the potential to enable or exacerbate racism in Irish society and our concern about this article is that it is a particularly unsympathetic framing of Ellie Kisyombe."

Shane O'Curry also complained about the photograph accompanying the article as one where Kisyombe wasn't smiling was not chosen and complained that the "Far-Right" were "all over this story like flies around the proverbial."

He said that there was an onus on journalists "to report responsibly on those who are potentially in a vulnerable situation."

Matt Cooper hit back at O'Curry's remarks replying "Sorry, it's a factual outlining of the circumstances of the case. It's neither sympathetic nor unsympathetic. It's just a factual laying out of the situation."

"Sorry, Shane. Are you actually complaining that they didn't use a photograph of her smiling and saying that that's deliberately unsympathetic"?

The Social Democrats told the Irish Times that it would not be fair to comment on Ellie Kisyombe asylum claim. Kisyombe refused to comment on the report.

Broadcast: Matt Cooper on Today FM | 18 February, 2019
All those appeals and rejections and yet she is still here and at taxpayers expense, bloody ridiculous she shouldve been deported years ago along with her kids who are another drain on taxpayers and get college courses, its a joke. But she is so confident she will be allowed to stay she is running for election. Ireland bloody laughing stock of Europe no wonder so many immigrants/asylum seekers are here.
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