A 38-year-old woman deported home to Nigeria three weeks ago was refused admission into her country after officials in Nigeria demanded thousands of euro from gardaí on the basis that the woman had mental health problems. Officers from the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) refused their demand and the woman was returned to Ireland.

Rosanna Flynn, a spokeswoman for Residents Against Racism, said the Nigerian woman had serious physical and psychiatric problems and was not fit to travel. A doctor at Dublin airport deemed her fit to travel.

"Her consultant sent a fax when she was being deported saying she was unfit to travel as she has high blood pressure and is on medication for psychiatric problems. He was overruled by the doctor at the airport. We are appalled to hear about her treatment," she said.

The woman is now back in asylum accommodation in Dublin. She came to Ireland five years ago and her return is likely to form the basis of another legal bid to stay here.

A garda source said the woman was not ill on the plane and that the demand by Nigerian authorities for "a few grand" was unacceptable. The source said there was no evidence the woman was mentally or physically unwell.

Flynn, who has met her since her return, said she was examined by a doctor in Nigeria who refused to admit her "because of her condition".

A group of up to 15 other Nigerians whose applications for refugee status failed were on the flight on 1 September. Accompanied by gardaí, they were flown to Lagos aboard a charter flight via Vienna where other deportees from EU states boarded the plane. It is understood they were all re-admitted to Nigeria.