Brazilian tourist visiting friends jailed on arrival in Ireland

Paloma Carvalho had previously worked here as an au pair

Brazilian tourist visiting friends jailed on arrival in Ireland


A young Brazilian woman says she was strip-searched and taken to Mountjoy Prison on her arrival in Ireland.

Paloma Carvalho had previously worked as an au pair here for two years with a Galway family.

She says she was visiting them on holiday when she was detained.

Gardaí detained her as they believed she was here to work, despite her having a departure ticket with her.

Brazilian nationals are allowed to spend up to 90 days in Ireland without a visa.

She told Newstalk Drive about her experience.

"I just gave my passport and all I had - it was the ticket to leave Ireland... and when I showed my ticket for the way back, they started to ask questions because of the period of time I was going to stay here.

"It was going to be about two months.

"I was trying to explain that I was coming for visiting friends... and then they started to ask questions: Why was I coming to stay two months, it was too much.

"So then they asked if I coming for work, and I said no I wasn't coming for work."

She said her mother was coming over to see Ireland with her.

"When they said that they couldn't let me get in the country and they brought me two sheets of paper to sign, it was the reason I couldn't get into the country was because I was lying and I was coming for working.

"Then they said they had to send me back to Basel, where I came from, but then they said they didn't have a flight on that day.

"The next fright was going to be on Thursday at 3am.

"Then they said 'we are going to send you for accommodation' - that's what they said".

Ms Carvalho said she was then brought to Mountjoy Prison.

"I tried to be very, very strong and not cry.

"But when they asked me to be naked and take off all my clothes, and then I started to cry".

She said she had to share a cell with a woman who was vomiting.

"I was trying to sleep, it was very difficult, crying all night - and she just spent the whole night vomiting."

Ms Carvalho was released and is now staying with her friends in Galway.