The Nigerian student, Olukunle Elukanlo, who was deported two weeks ago has returned to Ireland.

The 20-year-old arrived at Dublin Airport this morning still wearing his school uniform, and was greeted by friends and supporters.

Speaking on his arrival, Mr Elukanlo thanked the students at Palmerstown Community School in Dublin and other groups that campaigned on his behalf.

He also thanked the Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell, for granting him a six-month visa to return to Ireland and take his Leaving Certificate examinations.

He added that he has no intention of ever leaving Ireland.

Waving a tricolour flag, he was carried on the shoulders of his friends through the airport.

Mr Elukanlo is due to appear on RTÉ's The Late Late Show tonight. He is also expected to take part in an anti-deportation protest tomorrow before returning to school on Monday.

This morning's scenes are not expected to be repeated as Mr McDowell has said that it was a once-off decision and a review of the Government's deportation policy has been ruled out.

The campaign for Mr Eluhanla's return saw a number of protests outside the Dáil and the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, voiced his support for the student's case.

A spokesman for the Department of Justice has said that the 20-year-old has the option of applying for an extension of the visa when the six months lapses.