It comes as 9 year old Eric Zhi Ying Xue faces deportation

It's been revealed 134 children have been deported from Ireland in the last five years.

It comes as there are growing calls to stop the deportation of a 9-year-old boy from Wicklow.

These figures from the Department of Justice, which have been released to The Journal-dot-ie, show 134 boys and girls under the age of 18 have been deported since 2013.

Since a 2004 referendum, children born here are only entitled to automatic citizenship if at least one of their parents is a citizen.

The Department says a tiny fraction of under 18s refused citizenship are deported. There are also 285 live deportation orders against children living here.

The issue has been brought into focus by the recent case of Eric Zhi Ying Xue. The 9 year old is facing deportation to China, even though he was born in Wicklow and has lived there all his life.

Over 50 thousand people have signed a petition to prevent him being deported.