The students of Tullamore College have received an award from the Irish Red Cross for their successful campaign to prevent the deportation of their classmate Nonso Moujeke.
The students won the Student Initiative Award at the Irish Red Cross Humanitarian Awards which took place in the Clayton Hotel, Dublin last Saturday.
The school community at Tullamore College successfully campaigned, on human rights grounds, to get the Department of Justice to revoke the deporation order against Nonso and his mother Chidiebere and brother Viktor.
The students conducted a social media campaign which was carried by all local and national media outlets and they also secured over 22,000 signatures on a petition. The school galvanized not just the local community but their voice was heard on an international stage as they received messages of support from all over the world. On 10 October, the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of the Department of Justice and Equality, confirmed that the Moujeke family had been granted permission to remain in the State.
The school was nominated for the award by Cllr Tony McCormack. Speaking to the Offaly Independent this week, Cllr McCormack said that he was “honoured to nominate these fine young students for this very prestigious award”.
“It was great to see them using the tools of democracy to have the decision to deport Nonso and his family reversed. They conducted a very respectful campaign, getting petitions signed, a social media campaign and contacting all politicians locally including the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan.
“We normally hear only the bad things about the youth of today, we hear about the drink, drugs, bullying and the antisocial behaviour, in my mind this is only the minority and these students have done something wonderful and deserve all the applause they get, in my mind they are heroes. Our future is in good hands”
In a post on its Facebook page, the school said that it was “so proud” of its students.