The applicants were Hong Kong nationals with British Hong Kong passports. They arrived in the State lawfully but contravened requirements regarding length of stay and employment. They subsequently came to the attention of the Gardai and the Department of Justice then refused them permission to remain in the State. The Tangs sought to have this decision quashed by judicial review arguing that the decision effectively amounted to a deportation order.
The High Court declared Article 13(1) of the Aliens Order 1946 to be ultra vires the powers conferred on the Minister by the 1935 Act because the parent Act did not expressly authorise the Minister to make a deportation order. The Supreme Court reversed this decision on appeal finding Article 13 of the Aliens Order, 1946 to be within the powers conferred on the Minister by the 1935 Act.