Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Republic of Ireland urged to waive drug ban for seriously ill expatriate

The Irish government has been urged to show compassion by lifting a drugs ban on a seriously ill expatriate Irishman returning home to visit his family.

The man, identified only as Mr M in court documents, lives in the Netherlands, where his palliative care includes medicines containing cannabis — an illegal drug in the Republic. He was warned that if he visited Ireland he would be arrested on entry for possession of illegal drugs.

Mr M complained to the European Commission, which found the Republic had not breached any EU rules.

But, referring directly to Mr M, the Ombudsman P Nikiforos Diamandouros said: “Notwithstanding these findings, I have been deeply touched by your case.

“Although the law and institutions of the European Union are unable to provide a solution, I am not aware of anything that would prevent the Irish authorities from exercising discretion, on humanitarian grounds, to allow you to visit your family in Ireland.”

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