Online fundraiser to bring Irene Clenell home surpassed its goal of £20,000
A grandmother who has been married to a British man for 27 years has been deported from the UK to her country of origin, one day after a fundraising campaign to return her home surpassed its target of £20,000 by nearly £7000. Irene Clennell was held in a Scottish detention centre from the beginning of February, and was flown to Singapore on Sunday. She was granted indefinite leave for residence in the UK until it was invalidated by her visits to Singapore to care for her ageing parents.
Clennell’s sister-in-law, Angela Clennell, described the rules that permitted the deportation as “intense and unfair.” She said that her brother, Irene Clennell’s husband, was severely ill. Clennell unsuccessfully tried to repeal the deportation case on various occasions, arguing that she needed to remain in the UK to care for her sick husband. The fundraising petition states: “Irene has never claimed benefits in the UK. John has worked his entire adult life. We need to fight to keep them together so he has someone to care for him, and so she can stay with her family, where her home is.”
Clennell and her husband moved to London in 1988, and later to Country Durham, where they had two children and one grandchild. Angela Clennell stated, “It was a great shock receiving the phone call from Irene at 11am to inform us she was being deported at 3.30.” The fundraising campaign has now increased their target to £40,000.
“I made numerous phone calls, trying to contact immigration solicitors, but with it being a Sunday ,everywhere was closed and therefore nothing could be done,” she said. She stated that they were determined to return her sister-in-law to the UK. “We will not give up fighting this so Irene can come home to her family where she rightfully belongs,” she added.
Sub-edited by Manisha Ganguly