THE MAYOR of Sligo is to host a civic reception this week for locally-based Nigerian woman Pamela Izevbekhai and her two daughters, who are at the centre of a long-running deportation battle.
Mayor Veronica Cawley (Lab) said she will host the civic reception in the Town Hall on Thursday to highlight what she described as “the horrific” practice of female genital mutilation and to acknowledge the support by the people of Sligo for the family.
Last month Ms Izevbekhai lost her High Court bid to halt the deportation of herself and her daughters, Jemima (6) and Naomi (7). A stay was put on the order until midnight on December 10th following the intervention of the European Court of Human Rights, which will meet to consider the case on December 9th.
Ms Izevbekhai, who has lived in Sligo for almost four years, has appealed against the deportation on the grounds that her daughters will be forced to undergo female genital mutilation if they return to Nigeria. She told the High Court she lost her eldest daughter, Elizabeth, from blood loss when she was just 18 months old, having undergone this procedure.
Although there has been much support for Ms Izevbekhai in Sligo, some callers to local radio station Ocean FM have questioned the cost of her legal battle and whether her fears for her daughters were founded.
Source: Irish Times 1 December 2008