Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan has revoked a deportation order that was pending against a ten-year-old Co Wicklow boy who was born in Ireland.

Fourteen months after his school began a campaign to keep him here, Eric Zhi Ying Xue and his mother Leena, have been granted leave to remain in Ireland. 

More than 65,000 people signed the petition organised by St Cronan's School in Bray.

Eric was born here but he is not an Irish citizen. However, he is not a Chinese citizen either and has never lived anywhere other than Ireland. 

In the past few days his mother, Leena Mei Mei Xue, from Co Wicklow, has received notice that she and her son have been granted leave to remain.

Eric's mother came here 12 years ago from China, aged 19. Her attempts to regularise her residency failed and a deportation order was served against her in 2015. A subsequent appeal was rejected.

In October 2018 she was told by immigration authorities that they were preparing travel documents so that she and Eric could be deported to China.

In 2004 a referendum was passed which provided that children who are born here to foreign national parents no longer had a constitutional right to Irish citizenship.

Today his school principal Maeve Tierney told RTÉ News that the school was delighted that Eric and his mother had had their deportation order revoked and have been given leave to remain.

Ms Tierney said she was present when Eric's mother told him the news.

She says Eric asked his mother "does that mean that I'm the same now as all the other boys in my class?"

Ms Tierney said everyone at St Cronan's always knew that Eric was the same as all the other boys, but she said "now he knows it too". 

The Migrant Right's Centre Ireland (MRCI) says it is directly aware of around 200 children who are in the same position as Eric.

It says it knows however that there are even more children growing up undocumented here.

The MRCI has called on the Government to bring in legislation as soon as possible to regularise their situation, and bring about "a sensible and fair solution" for children like Eric.

Eric's mother Leena has said she is happy, and very grateful to St Cronan's and all the people who signed a petition to support the family.

She said that Eric had been "very worried and upset about this for a long time" and that the minister's decision had "lifted his worry and his fear".