I Got Deported From Ireland

Fuck me. I never thought such a click bait title would ever grace my blog – let alone be 100% true.

In the last three weeks, I’ve managed to visit five countries and accumulate my fair share of travel fails. From losing my shoes in Egypt, forgetting my toothbrush in South Africa and it all coming together to form the grand finale of me being denied entry into Ireland.

So how did I manage to fuck up this badly?  It all comes down to a dash of bad luck and a sprinkle of Leeds music festival.

Read on or watch my story time below:

Don’t Try Enter Ireland If Your Nationality is Dodge

South African visa requirements for Ireland is free entry on arrival as long as you have an outbound flight and proof of accommodation. I made sure I had all this upon arrival, but unfortunately, the universe was out to fuck me over.

The first nail in my coffin happened to be my nationality. Despite having a few local friends currently in Ireland right now, I was told there was a lot of “negative immigration” from South Africa and the immigration officer was not happy. He thought my route into Ireland was weird (I flew in from Izmir) and he didn’t like my outbound flight was back to Turkey.

Oh, and I happened to fly in a few hours after the terrorist attacks in London. This lead to a lecture about how it’s unwise for me to be travelling alone to such countries.


Islamophobe and trying to tell a stranger how to live their life. I come from Africa mate; I’m pretty capable of looking after myself.



Don’t Have Friends – EVER

The second nail happened to be knowing a UK national. When asked what I would be doing in Ireland, I mentioned a friend from London was meeting me, and we would be travelling around together.

The worst thing I could have possibly said.

In the past, it’s always been a pro to say you know someone. It shows you have connections. This time, it led to my Whatsapp messages being scrutinised, and that’s when things started to go downhill.

See, I had been discussing Leeds music festival in the UK with this friend. The Pretty Reckless, Korn, Eminem, Major Lazor and Pvris are on the lineup, and I was lamenting how much I wanted to go, asking for ticket prices and how to get there.

Keep in mind this festival is also at the end of August.

He then accused me of illegally trying to sneak into the UK from Ireland because of this and promptly cancelled the visa he had just issued. He then phoned my friend and asked him how much I had paid him and whether this was his first time trying to smuggle someone into the country.

Nevermind the fact that if this were really my intention, I wouldn’t have just handed over my phone filled with “evidence”. Or that the UK has shit weather and I’m not a refugee trying to escape a war zone.

I was then informed that I would be spending the next few days inside a women’s prison until my flight back to Turkey. I don’t know if this was a tactic just used to scare me because a few minutes later I was allowed to leave the airport.

Immigration would keep my passport, and I would be able to spend two days in Dublin, until my return flight. Again, if I’m such a risk for fleeing into the UK, why let me into the country and cause such a stinkfest??

And that was not the end of my drama. But there were no Australians around, so this story proceeded steadily downhill.

*Australians are my good luck charm because they are EVERYWHERE. So if they are not somewhere, something is not right.



Don’t Try to Defend Yourself

Returning to Dublin airport, I was met by what I thought was a nice middle aged man. Instead, like all my interactions with men in this country so far, he also had a something up his arse.

I was told to wait by some red chairs until it was time for my flight. Why I couldn’t wait at my boarding gate, will remain another mystery. I didn’t have my passport back at this point, and I’ve complied with everything they have asked with no problem. What was I going to do? Leave the airport and disappear when I had 48 hours to do that already?

About 20 minutes later, my name is called on the intercom asking me to report to the boarding gates immediately. I pick up my stuff and run, completely puzzled as I haven’t moved from where he left me.

I was then chastised by two men for “not being where I was left” and for “lying” when I tried to defend myself. Nice.

Again, exactly what would I have to gain by “disappearing” at this point?

Upon boarding the plane, the insanity continued. The captain would be keeping my passport until the flight landed. You know, in case I try  to open the aircraft’s door and jump out just as we fly over the promised land that is the UK.



When In Doubt: Turkey

The final chapter of this ridiculous story ends with the Turkish police. Who just confirmed their status as my favourite people and why I have fallen so hard for this country.

For the better part of an hour, I explained my story to my translator and a couple of police officers. They were equally baffled by Ireland’s behaviour and simply said: “They do this all the time.”

However, they had to make sure I was who I said I was and proceeded to go through my social media and computer. Throughout this time, they made jokes about my smelly socks that I pulled out my bag, laughed at my selfies they found on my phone and became really invested in my relationship.

Of course, they were professional and never made me feel uncomfortable, and I appreciated their laidback vibe and not being treated like a criminal.

So it looks like I’m banned from Ireland for 10 years. Can’t say I’m too heartsore about this. While I enjoyed visiting Cliffs of Moher, the bland food and constant drizzle of rain was already getting on my nerves after 48 hours.

But at the end of the day, I learnt a number of valuable lessons.

  1. Have return flights back to South Africa when flying to Ireland, even if the consulate says any outbound flight will do.
  2. Never mention that you know anyone in Ireland or the UK.
  3. Delete any texts that can be used in any way against you.
  4. Blue hair doesn’t make you that visible in a crowd, pack a flag hat so you can be easily found.

Fuck Bureaucracy: I am a citizen of the world



  1. July 10, 2017 / 9:52 am

    Le sigh. The endless shit a woman travelling alone has to endure. This would not have escalated to these levels, I’m willing to bet my non-blarney arse, if you were a dude.

  2. khalil
    July 21, 2018 / 4:56 pm

    I am so sorry to hear about your incident in ireland

  3. Shivaani Suppiah
    April 9, 2019 / 7:00 am

    My friend sent this article to me right after I got deported from Ireland. I feel you!

    • lauren
      April 10, 2019 / 9:42 am

      OMG! XD What happened to you?

  4. Musty
    May 22, 2019 / 2:01 am

    That’s what happen with me too, Irish Immigration officers thought that I will over stay even though I told them I have my wife back home and I am here for a business meeting. They refuse me the entry and kept me in prison cell for over night, stole my new phone and when I asked for it they says we don’t know, it must have been the other officer who must have kept it somewhere, if we will find it we will send it to ya and in a mean time write a complaint to this superintendent department. I am simply disgusted with their approach towards genuine tourist, no wonder they are suffering, cheap and pathetic officers.

    • lauren
      May 22, 2019 / 5:15 pm

      I’m so sorry you had to go through this as well!

  5. Inno
    July 9, 2019 / 11:58 pm

    I am a black south african who was returned back to SA while was in Dubai for connecting flight to Dublin, I got all my documents in order but despite that i was humiliated and mistreated by emirates official/employees they asked me why im going to Dublin and i had advise for holidays and had a proof of accomodation, sufficient funds, returned ticket and travel insurance but they still didnt allow me to be in a flight telling me that the reason is because of security assessment in which I was baffled because before even buying a ticket I had enquired with Ireland what are requirements for a south african passport holder to enter the country. I spend all my savings to this trip but none ever been considerate and i was taken pillar to post in the Dubai airport and i even went to the clinic there because of the emotional trauma i suffered because of this … they just said i will return to SA and use my return flight ticket . I am still angry and need justice to be served and why is Ireland says we are visa free but do this to us…. i have lost so much money and suffered healthwise too because of the treatment i was given by Emirates stuff. I cant just let this go until i get justice…is it that im black …whites with SA passports just boarded smoothly at that Gate while blacks where put aside . What a such cruelty…treated like an offender.

    • lauren
      July 10, 2019 / 5:35 pm

      Hi Inno, I’m so sorry to hear that! I’m white and my best friends brother who is also white got deported today from Ireland as well despite having all the documents. Apparently, they thought he was trying to sneak into the country.

      It’s such a horrible experience and Ireland could solve the problem by having a Schengen type visa if they are so concerned about South Africans not returning home. I also can’t believe the Emirates staff let you board in SA and then deported you while you were waiting for your connection!

  6. Charlene Norholm
    November 19, 2019 / 6:26 pm

    Can somebody help me my son is being deported from Danmark to South Africa today, what happens when he get to South Africa? Does any one knows?

    • lauren
      November 20, 2019 / 5:35 pm

      Hi Charlene!

      Nothing will happen to him. He’ll get stamped back into the country and that’s it.

  7. ladyaxemusic
    November 26, 2019 / 3:03 pm

    I can write you a novel about the mistreatment of ALL South Africans, especially WHITES. I wish I was wearing a sash on my head and cried religion to make me more acceptable to their on-the-spot, made-up prerequisites. The Irish immigration officers’ behaviour is APPALLING on all fronts and I am just glad I read this blog, because I thought I was perhaps the victim of some personal vendetta. From the moment I entered Ireland I was treated like a criminal, spoken to like I am vermin. Officers here seem to have no idea what they are doing, nepotism and xenophobia is rife and they keep contradicting their colleagues in interrogation. When I wanted to report them, they refused to give me their names! (That in itself, is ILLEGAL) Had I known how callous and petty these authorities behaved,I would have wiped my ass with this country and traveled to Prague instead.

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