His case made not only national news but international too, and now it looks like Bray schoolboy Eric Zhi Ying Xue may be able to stay in the country where he was born and raised.
With only George Hook failing to see the injustice of sending a child with deep roots in Ireland to the country of his parents’ origin, a review of this particular case was inevitable.
And the outcome, given that all eyes are on Eric, and the Irish government, is most likely going to be in Eric’s favour.
More than 50,000 people signed the petition to revoke the deportation of the St Cronan’s National School pupil, and Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan is currently examining all the details. And, no doubt, taking the consideration of de peoples at the same time.
Hearing of the review, Simon Harris commented, “That’s all I ever called for, that’s all Eric’s family ever asked for, was an opportunity for a humanitarian review of the case to take place.
“The idea that a nine-year-old boy who is as much from Wicklow as I am, as much from Ireland as I am, would be told that he is ‘going back’ to China, a country he had never been to, was simply ludicrous.”
It was a 2004 referendum – introduced by Fianna Fáil and backed by Fine Gael – that saw babies born in Ireland to foreign parents no longer having an automatic right to Irish citizenship. The referendum was voted through with an 80% majority.