A have-a-go-hero from Carnmoney who was locked up in an Australian detention centre for illegal immigrants over Christmas and New Year has won the first round of his battle against deportation.
Brian O’Boyle, from the Beverley Road area, was arrested last month after he went to police in Albury - a small town 200 miles north-east of Melbourne - to report a violent assault.
The 35-year-old, who was taken to the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre near Sydney, sustained serious facial injuries in the attack. But things got even worse for him the following day when he went to report the incident to police.
The former barman, who has been living in Australia since 2006, was arrested after officers did a background check on him while he was making his statement and discovered he had been living in the country illegally since 2008 - the result, Mr O’Boyle claims, of being sold a fake visa.
“He came across a woman being beaten up in the street and he intervened. That’s the sort of person my brother is - he’d try to help anyone. Unfortunately when trying to help the woman he got attacked and ended up with a broken nose and a broken cheek bone,” Mr O’Boyle’s brother, Martin told the Times.
“When he went to the police the next day to report the assault they did a background check and it was him who got arrested.”
Mr O’Boyle, who lives in Albury with his fiancée, had to borrow a considerable sum of cash from his father in order to apply for a bridging visa in a bid to fight deportation. However, his application was rejected and he had to spend several weeks behind bars.
Councillors in Albury and friends in the town started a petition supporting the former St Malachy’s College pupil in his bid to remain in Australia. And at home, Martin contacted local politicians and government ministers asking them to do anything they could to help his brother.
At an appeal hearing on Wednesday, January 2, Mr O’Boyle was granted the bridging visa, subject to the payment of a 5,000 dollar bond.
According to his brother, he now has 12 months to obtain a residency visa or partner visa to allow him to stay in Australia permanently.
“At the end of the day he’s lived there for six years, he’s engaged and he’s bought a house there, so hopefully they’ll grant his visa application and he can stay,” Martin added.