Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary Slams Asylum System As ‘Complete Scam’

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has publicly condemned the current asylum system, labeling it a “complete scam” and asserting that many individuals claiming asylum are not genuine refugees. O’Leary made these comments during an interview on the Newstalk radio station, where he discussed the issues surrounding undocumented arrivals in Ireland.

O’Leary expressed frustration over how people manage to enter Ireland on Ryanair flights without proper documentation. “They flush them down the toilet, they arrive at Dublin airport and they flush them down the toilet,” he stated. According to O’Leary, non-EU visitors must have their passports photographed at border control for government records, but economic migrants circumvent this by destroying their documents.

“These are not refugees,” O’Leary emphasized. “One of the things that drives me nuts in Ireland is we treat people as refugees who are coming from the UK or from France.” He argued that true refugees are not arriving from these countries, but rather from conflict zones like Afghanistan, Kenya, Nigeria, or Syria. However, there are no direct flights from these countries to Ireland.

O’Leary criticized the Irish approach of treating people arriving from safe EU countries as refugees. “We should look after refugees, I have great sympathy for the Ukrainians, but people who are arriving here from the UK, France or other EU countries, we should be turning them back,” he said.

The airline CEO also highlighted the difficulties in tracking these migrants once they arrive. “They tear up or flush their documentation down the toilets, and all of them have documentation when they board the Ryanair flight at the other side,” he noted.

Ireland has seen a significant influx of economic migrants, many of whom are now living in makeshift tent cities in major cities like Dublin. This situation reflects a broader European issue, as evidenced by data from Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. The office reported that 57% of asylum seekers in Germany lack documentation to prove their identity, age, or country of origin, an increase from 48% in 2023.

O’Leary’s comments have sparked a debate about the effectiveness and integrity of the asylum system, highlighting the need for stricter measures to differentiate genuine refugees from economic migrants.