Irish family facing deportation over son's illness granted last-minute reprieve

The Irish family at the centre of an immigration battle to stay in Australia are holding on to hope that they’ll be able to stay in their home, amid news Immigration Minister David Coleman has finally agreed to look at their case.

Christine and Anthony Hyde, who have lived in Australia for a decade, were given until June 18 to leave Australia after their three-year-old son Darragh was considered a “burden” to the country because of his cystic fibrosis, and the cost of his life-saving medication.

They are now permitted to stay put until their case is reviewed and a decision made.

Left is a photo of Darragh, who has cystic fibrosis and faces deportation with his Irish family, playing at the beach and right is the boy sitting in a car seat in volunteer SES gear.
Darragh's condition has led to him being labelled a 'burden' on the community. Source: Christine Hyde

Three years ago, the couple had applied to become permanent residents, but their application was rejected. In May, the family were given 28 days to leave the country, the deadline falling tomorrow on June 18.

Just days before the deadline, Mrs Hyde informed Yahoo News Australia that Mr Coleman had begun looking at Darragh’s case.

“It could be a few weeks, but we will be able to stay until a decision is made,” Mrs Hyde said.

Family ‘living in limbo’ while decision is pending

Last week, Mrs Hyde spoke about the stress of the looming deadline, saying it was slowly taking its toll on the family.

“It’s everyday were just living in limbo,” she told Yahoo News. “We’re getting worse and worse with how we’re coping with it. I’m just getting real anxiety every time the phone rings and emails come through.”

A portrait of the Irish family who are facing deportation from Australia. Pictured are Christina and Anthony Hyde with their son, Darragh, who has cystic fibrosis.
Christina and Anthony Hyde, pictured with their son, Darragh. Source: Christine Hyde

But despite the pressure of the situation, the couple are remaining positive, continuing to work full-time in the small town of Seymour, Victoria.

“I’d be really surprised at this stage if they (the ministers) were to turn around and say no, but you just don’t know what the minister is thinking. It’s the only way to keep us sane I suppose,” Mrs Hyde said.

Nearly 120,000 people have signed an online petition calling for Darragh to be allowed to stay in Australia.

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