American human rights lawyer Matt Schwoebel, who was expelled from Ireland on November 23 last year for allegedly having insufficient funds, is fighting his expulsion and the incident has now been referred to the Police Commissioner.
Schwoebel is the program director of the human rights 2048 Project in Berkeley Law School at the University of California.
He was in Ireland to take statements from the Tarawatch protesters at the Hill of Tara, who are opposing the building of a highway close to the ancient heritage site.
The Hill of Tara was home to the ancient High Kings of Ireland and has been nominated as a UNESCO world heritage site.
Schwoebel was to take statements from protesters and advise the group on its appeal to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The lawyer was also to investigate the monitoring methods of the Irish police.
The lawyer was stopped by police from the National Immigration Bureau upon his arrival in Dublin airport on November 23. He was told he could not enter the country as he had insufficient funds. Schwoebel had only $100 but had a visa card with thousands of dollars in the account.
He said the police were hostile towards him and refused to contact Tarawatch spokesman Vincent Salafia to confirm he was staying with him.
"I offered to take $1,000 before I left the airport," said Schwoebel.
Schwoebel was then refused entry to Ireland and put on the next flight to San Francisco.
Salafia believed that Schwoebel was refused entry into Ireland because of his support for the Tarawatch campaign, and has lodged a complaint on behalf of Schwoebel with the police ombudsman, who has now referred the case to the police commissioner.
Salafia is hoping that Schowoebel will soon be allowed to re-enter the country and continue his work with the Tarawatch campaign.