Thursday, 30 April 1970
Dáil Eireann Debate
Mr. Ryan: asked the Minister for Justice the number of nationals from Czechoslovakia at present in this State; the length and purpose of their stay; and whether permission to remain in Ireland is subject to non-engagement in political activities.
Mr. B. Lenihan: The number of Czechoslovak nationals resident in the State at present, excluding children under 16 years of age, is 20. All are subject to a time-limit of either six months or one year at a time but the residence permit may be renewed. The periods of residence to date range from seven months to nearly five years.
As in the case of aliens of other nationalities, no prohibition has been imposed on their engaging in political activity and the question of such a prohibition would not arise unless it were shown that there was a sufficient justification  for imposing it in a particular case.
Mr. Ryan: Would the Minister agree that where two persons purporting to be trade representatives endeavoured to interfere with the activities of an Irish-Czechoslovakian society the members of which are concerned with promoting cultural relations between the two countries, it would be undesirable to continue the residence permits of the persons engaged in such activities?
Mr. Ryan: Accepting that it is a sensitive matter, would the Minister not consider that on that account it is all the more undesirable that any persons should be allowed to act in a way prejudicial to the interests of this country and the interests of refugees from the régime in Czechoslovakia?
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