U.S. travel writer banned from Ireland in immigration snafu
In a jam like the 'Plano 3,' American journalist spends four days back-and-forth over Atlantic
An American writer who has written glowingly about Ireland in the top-selling "Better Home and Gardens" magazine spent four days flying back and forth across the Atlantic after being refused entry into Ireland.
Tessa Fowler, 38, from Wyoming was refused entry into Ireland by the Dublin Garda Immigration Bureau for not having a return ticket.
Fowler was distraught on the phone to IrishCentral.com on Tuesday as she relived the nightmare she encountered at Dublin Airport at 9 a.m. on July 16.
Although not confirmed, it looks like Fowler was on the same flight which contained the three young Texan backapackers who were making their second attempt to get into Ireland. The Texans were allowed in to a huge welcome but Fowler was not.
“It was the worst time of my life,” said Fowler, who wrote in "Better Homes and Gardens" (which has a circulation of nearly 8 million) about her trips to Ireland and how she enjoys cooking Irish food.
Fowler, who claims Irish ancestry, has been in Ireland five times in the past three years. This was to be her sixth trip. Fowler’s best friend lives there. Every year, sometimes twice, Fowler travels to Ireland for her annual vacation.
“I have spent so much money in Ireland in the past few years, I’m just so mad that this woman would turn me away,” said Fowler referring to the female officer she dealt with at Dublin Airport last week. It is not the same officer who refused the Texans entry.
“She was very rude, I’m used to getting the warm Irish welcome at Shannon. The few questions about how long I’m staying and who I’m going to visit is usually all I get but this woman was awful,” she said.
On her previous trips, Fowler flew to Shannon but this year she was unable to get a Shannon touchdown so she was required to fly to Dublin. She had booked a train ticket from Dublin to Cork for the same day.
After realizing that Fowler only had a one-way plane ticket, the immigration officer began a barrage of questioning.
“She asked how long I was going to stay and I said, 'It depends on how I feel, maybe a few weeks.' She said that wasn’t a good enough answer. She asked me how did I plan to fund my trip, I showed her an ATM receipt that showed I had $ 2,979.94 in my bank account and told her I was a 38-year-old woman with grown children. That I could well afford my own holiday. I also said I have a platinum card.”
The questioning went on. The immigration officer was still not happy.
“She wanted to know why I didn’t have euros on me. I told her my bank only charges me $1 to withdraw money in Ireland so that is the way I do it.”
Fowler explained that she often travels on two one-way tickets as they are less expensive than changing a return flight. She added that she had flown into Shannon last year on a one-way and that it had not been an issue.
When the officer asked Fowler about her own family life, she said she had three children, two in college and one who was 17 and he was with his father in the U.S. for the summer.
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"RECOVERY" My Arse The Country is in so much debt just about paying interest while borrowing 1 bl per month They have just been caught robbiThe New York Times questions Ireland’s highly-praised economic recovery
A bit of sleight of hand, I think. Rather than look into cleaning up the economy in the US, they'd rather try to find someone worse off. I wonder if tOffensive NFL sign outside restaurant just a symptom of a larger problem
Hi Chuck, if we get rid of red, what will Carl Rove do? After all it was his idea to associate red with the Republican Party.How Christmas was in my father’s time
I don't mean to be rude but I am aghast as to why your Father walked barefoot in the middle of Winter & also such a distance as every small villag