An Irish student celebrated with his classmates after he and his family were granted leave to remain in Ireland, and not be deported back to their native Nigeria.
Nonso Muojeke moved to Ireland with his mother when he was two years old after his father had died in 2006.
Nonso’s mother said in her asylum application that her husband’s death had placed her and her children in danger.
However, that application was rejected, and a deportation order was served. The family had failed with numerous appeals to the decision.
Nonso’s classmates at Tullamore Colllege in Co Ofally took action and the whole of the school campaigned with protests and petitions to allow him and his family to stay.
The campaign galvanised the community to put pressure on the government, and eventually Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan granted Nonso and his family leave to remain in Ireland.
Nonso enjoyed an emotional return to Tullamore College with a round of applause and a hug from one of his classmates.
He spoke to RTE about the support he had received.
He said: “I don’t think I could ask for better friends than you guys are, you guys were with me throughout everything and didn’t turn your backs on me. You were there supporting, helping me and my family the whole way, and I am really thankful to you guys for that.”
One of the girls from Tullamore was overwhelmed with emotion as she spoke to the reporter.
She said: “Like we love Nonso and it’s important for us that he stays.”
Another of Nonso’s friends added: “I’m not just happy for Nonso, Viktor and his mother, I am happy for me, my friends, the school and the entire whole community. Nonso is such a vital of it and I couldn’t imagine life without him.”
The event took place in 2018 and was one of the most heart-warming stories of the decade to come out of Ireland.
Take a look at the RTE report.
Celebrations at Tullamore College after 14-year-old student was granted leave to remain in Ireland pic.twitter.com/119kT9mG5y
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) October 11, 2018
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