• Aaron Flynn

Latest updates on COVID-19 - Ireland

The Government has issued further strict guidelines for people to stay at home from midnight (Friday) 27th March 2020.

The main rule is to STAY AT HOME. The only times you can leave your home are:

  • to travel to or from work if you are providing an essential service.

  • to shop for food

  • to collect medical prescriptions and medical supplies and attend medical appointments

  • to carry out vital services like caring (including family carers)

  • for brief individual exercise - within 2 kilometres of your house. (You can bring children but must keep 2 metres away from others for social distancing)

  • for farming

(A full list of essential workers due to be published on Saturday morning is not yet available.)

It is unclear if solicitors offices will be viewed as essential in this list and issues will arise with filing of visa applications and court proceedings. However INIS has updated their FAQ document as of 27th March 2020 which is available here

The FAQ displays a practical approach will be taken by INIS which is welcomed.

By example see Question 35 on the 15 day deadline for making representations on a proposal to deport:

Q 35. I have received a Proposal to Deport, what if I can’t make submissions within the 15 date timeframe? A. In the light of the current extraordinary circumstances the Immigration Service Delivery of the Department continues to provide its services in line with National efforts to deal with the current COVID-19 situation. This matter is under constant review and pragmatic decisions will be made where required.

This approach applies to the deportation process in general, including the issue of proposals to deport and the making of Deportation Orders, and takes cognisance of the fact that access to legal advice and legal proceedings are potentially restricted in the current difficult and stressful climate.

On the Statute of Limitations the Law Society of Ireland have referenced the High Court judgment of Morris J in Poole v O’Sullivan of 23 October, 1992 (IR 1993 page 484). There was attempts to include an amendment to the Statute of Limitations in the Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Bill 2020 which was ruled out of order in the debate. The Law Society of Ireland believes that the Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan TD, fully understands the issue and was well disposed to support this amendment being enacted and will continue to press for a resolution for solicitors and clients.

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