Our Destiny



A child being rescued on to Irish Navy vessel LÉ Eithne, off the coast of Libya last month

Further to the news that a baby girl was born on LÉ Niamh on July 22,…

It would be an appropriate and generous gesture to offer Irish citizenship to the mother of the baby girl Destiny, who was born in the LÉ Niamh on July 22nd. The nation is justly proud of what our Naval Service is doing in the Mediterranean, and the birth of a baby on board the Niamh is a powerful and much-needed symbol of a new world of peace and hope. It also symbolises how a small nation can play a healing role in a world that so often distresses and discourages us by its violence and the sheer scale of its cruelties and injustices.

The circumstances of Destiny’s birth are too compelling a symbol to be buried in the sort of red tape that normally characterises applications for asylum. The offer should dispense with all the formalities that normally precede citizenship. Destiny’s mother, together with her baby, could be singled out and given a place of honour in any ceremony that celebrates the creation of new citizens.

She will have to be found and graciously offered Irish citizenship. She may of course decline the offer, but at least a generous gesture will have been made in an age when hostility to foreigners is not as uncommon as one might wish.

Gabriel Daly
Dublin 16.

Citizenship and mother of Destiny (Irish Times letters)

Related: Baby girl born on LÉ Niamh after rescue operation (RTE)

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35 thoughts on “Our Destiny

  1. Mr. T.

    Sentimentality might ease the conscience of the comfortable well meaning but all migrants should be treated equally as otherwise, resentment and opportunism will undermine efforts.

    1. ahjayzis


      It might make some of us feel good, but we’d still be keeping people in glorified internment camps for a huge chunk of their life and abrogating our responsibility to take our fair share from our ‘partners’ in the Med.

    2. Joe

      doing this once cause its a nice thing to do is only going to set a precedent for others, as nice an act as it would be to do it would be unwise to do it.

        1. ReproBertie

          So you believe this science but not all that rocket space stuff?


          “As the first author of this study, I’d like to address a misleading headline that’s been making the rounds lately: the idea that this study says that people who believe 9/11 conspiracy theories are better-adjusted than those who do not. This grossly misinterprets our results: this study says nothing about mental health, and its results do not justify any conclusions about one group of people being more or less “sane” than another.
          In general, I would urge anyone who found this paper via the “sanity” article to please think critically about headlines in the future. It is tempting to believe without question self-serving headlines that validate your prejudices and beliefs, but that’s precisely when critical thinking is most important.” – Michael Wood.

  2. Anomanomanom

    So why are we “rescuing” these people. I’m not trolling but, this endless stream of people will never stop if we keep helping. I know it’s heartless but it’s true.

    1. ahjayzis

      We did stop – and they kept coming, and thousands died.

      Let’s not try it again, yaw?

      1. Anomanomanom

        Well that’s not true and again heartless but it’s really not our problem if they die. if no one helped and shipped any who did manage to make it in boats back out to sea then there would be a huge drop in people trying.

        1. fmong

          “then there would be a huge drop in people trying.”

          I’m not so sure there would be, a lot of these people are being shipped by Human traffickers, who have charged the passengers a fare whack to get on the boat, so your average Human trafficker only really cares about getting £££ for bums on seats on the boat, whether the boat makes or not is really arbitrary and doesn’t affect the business model.. bar losing the odd rusty old boat now and again..

          1. fmong

            also imagine how fupped your life must be that running this risk of being smuggled out of the country in a death trap with no assurance of any safety and no idea what awaits you on the other side of the sea, all that is still seen as a better life then the one you’d have remaining where you are… grim stuff..

        2. ahjayzis

          It is true – Mare Nostrum was ended in October last year – a thousand people died in one week last April so we started rescuing again. Stopping rescues doesn’t stop the flow, it just increases the death rate.

          We’ve tried letting them drown, and the numbers don’t reduce.

          And also, all the evidence aside – f*ck that, we’re the richest continent in the world, we don’t let men, women and children drown while the traffickers pocket a fortune. We’re better than that, they’re people for f*cks sake.

          If you want to slow it down hunt down the traffickers and make painful examples of them for a start.

          1. Joe

            heavy targeting of the traffickers is needed but with resources devoted to rescue work how us that ever going to happen. we’re fighting a fire with a garden hose instead if a fire hose, that fire ain’t stoppin any time soon.

          2. Drogg

            We could also try stopping it at source maybe a joint european military force to combat dictators and islamic militant groups in northern africa followed by economic encouraging program’s to help north african countries develop there own stable economy’s it would prob need a ten year plan and boots on the ground including Irish ones but it could be the only way to turn the tide.

  3. Paolo

    I fail to see why the person who gave birth aboard the LÉ Niamh is more or less deserving than any of the other hundreds of migrants rescued by the Irish naval service. Symbolism should have no place in humanitarian efforts, otherwise it becomes a beauty contest.

  4. ahjayzis

    There are hundreds of asylum seekers trapped in our legal limbo who have given birth – their kids have grown up Irish, went to our schools, passed our exams, made friends and yet still will probably be deported. You can’t grant citizenship to someone because they were born on an Irish boat and still argue we can’t make these Irish kids legally Irish.

    1. Anomanomanom

      Everything you say is true but our system does not work like that. From personal experience, a friend who was in Ireland 25 years, since she was 3 months old, has had to go back to Angola because documents she doesn’t have proving her age, birth place so on can’t be produced Now this is a girl who knows nobody in Angola and has lived here all her live.

  5. karl

    Quick google search rendered this on Wikipedia:

    ‘Under the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, for the purposes of determining the obligations under the Convention, a birth on a ship or aircraft in international waters or airspace shall be treated as a birth in the country of the ship or aircraft’s registration. However, the Convention applies only to births where the child would otherwise be stateless. Since in most cases a child would be covered by one or more countries’ jus sanguinis at birth (getting the same citizenship as its parents), this Convention rarely comes into play. In addition, there are still very few Member States that are party to the 1961 Convention.’

    The child may be considered stateless as a refugee plus the birth happened before asylum was claimed in any state. I also checked and Ireland has ratified the 1961 convention. The only issue is that the parents are not citizens and I can’t see department of foreign affairs giving them passports. It would be very unfair to all the people languishing in direct provision.

    1. ahjayzis

      If it’s treated “the same as if the child was born in Ireland itself”, didn’t we vote that just because you’re born, you’re not automatically a citizen a few years ago?

  6. Bill

    Once they are ‘rescued’ then they should be brought back to the port they left from and returned to their own country.

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