Sharon Lane 0

Let Catherine Stay

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Hello Everyone, I am an Irish woman now living in Australia. I moved here in 2000 with my six children. My eldest son Kevin was 18 at the time. He decided to return home to Ireland to finish his studies and remained there until 2003. He returned to Australia in 2003 to work and met a lovely Australian girl called Catherine Mahony. In October 2007 Kevin and Catherine returned to Ireland, she had gained a 1 year work visa. They both gained work shortly after returning, Catherine in the disability sector. Her employers were very happy with her and she settled in very well and made many friends. The couple then decided that they would like to remain in Ireland and Catherine applied to remain, and was sponsored by her employers who wanted her to stay. To cut a long story short, after much mucking around, Catherine has been denied her visa on the grounds that her qualifications are not high enough and has had to return home to Australia. We are not disputing this fact. Catherine has Certificate Level qualifications, not diploma as required. She does have many years experience and specific training in behavioural management for people with disabilities which is only now being undertaken in the UK.(but all this is totally unrecognized because it only gets decided on bits of paper.) The only option left open to Kevin and Catherine is to get married. Now, I have no objections to them getting married, they are in a long term relationship and get on better than a lot of married couples, but I find it totally bizarre, outrageous, etc., etc., that they would have to do this to remain together in Ireland. Why are long term legitimate relationships not recognized What does this say for tolerance of relationships other than those of people in marriages It is archaic in this day and age for a couple to be forced into marriage so that that they can remain together in the country of his birth. Why cant they remain in his home country where they are both happy and not a drain on society in any way Why on earth would a country deny access to a young hardworking woman who has a job, employers who think the world of her, caring relationships with the adults with disabilities with whom she works, and the many friends that she has made. We need this law to be changed and I would like you to join me in campaigning for such a change. We do not live in the dark ages, and the current Irish governmentsâ

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