herald

Friday 9 December 2016

Mystery man found on side of M7 with no English, passport or documentation

Man claims to be an Afghan national who has spent the past three months travelling in a shipping container

Naas motorway (Photo: Google Maps)
Naas motorway (Photo: Google Maps)

A stowaway discovered on the side of the motorway near Naas has no identification, documentation or English.

The man, believed to be 21 years of age, has claimed through an interpreter that he arrived into Ireland after travelling for three months in a shipping container and on the back of a truck.

He was discovered on the side of the road by a member of the public two weeks ago and has made two court appearances since.

His solicitor said he does not speak ‘one word of English’ and it was difficult to find a translator that could communicate with him.

“This man claims to be from Afghanistan and his language is Pashto,” solicitor Conal Boyce told RTE Radio One’s Morning Ireland.

“It is difficult to communicate sufficiently with him, he speaks not one word of English.

“A non-national must produce on demand a passport or ID, but he can’t do that, he has no ID, so this is actually a criminal offence.

“He first appeared in court in Athy and subsequently at Naas District Court where the maximum penalty for this is a €3,000 fine and 12 months in prison.

“The judge felt sympathy and said perhaps this is a man who is really entitled to refugee status.”

The man, who has given his name as Walli Ullah, declined to make a bail application.

He has since been remanded in Cloverhill Prison.

Ullah has repeatedly claimed that he has come to Ireland for his own protection and was not safe in his home country.

“I don’t know much about his history as he only has access to an interpreter for short periods of time,” Mr Boyce said.

“What is likely here is he will be accepted into the application process, through the prison service, which is very humane I must add, there is a regime in place for doing this sort of thing.

“I expect after this process he will be brought into the assisted living programme.

“This man has no address, no income and no English. We only have his word on who he is.

“He touches his Koran to his chest quite often. He simply can’t communicate and when he does it’s very hesitantly.

“He is 21 years of age and he is on a different planet from where he grew up.

“There is terrible sympathy for him,” he added.

The judge has informed the defendant that he has the right to notify the Afghan embassy in London.

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