More than 2,600 people have signed an online petition calling for an apology for former Brazilian au pair Paloma Silva Carvahlo, and seeking a review of Irish immigration services.

It follows complaints by the 24-year-old woman that she was traumatised by a decision to stop her on entry to Ireland, despite having return flights booked for her holiday here.

After being stopped, Ms Silva Carvahlo was briefly detained at Dochas women's prison in Mountjoy, where she was strip-searched.

She has since been given ten days to leave Ireland but said she had been given no explanation why.

Speaking on RTE's This Week, the woman behind the petition, Jane Xavier, who is also the chair of the Au Pair Rights Ireland Association, said that the case was by no means an isolated or once-off incident.

She said she was aware of many cases in which au pairs, mostly from South American countries, had been stopped by immigration services and ultimately ordered to leave the country, despite believing they had all the required documentation in order.

She said as a result, South American au pairs working here are reluctant to travel home, particularly during the summer months, and she said there was also concern over the treatment of their families when they visited on holiday. 

Ms Xavier, who is also an au pair working in Dublin, said that it was important that the response of immigration services in these cases was reviewed, and ideally by an independent third party.

She said the case of Ms Silva Carvahlo had attracted considerable media attention in Brazil.