Saturday 24 February 2018

High Court lifts order stopping deportation of man accused of recruiting people in Ireland to fight for Islamic State

The High Court, Dublin
The High Court, Dublin
Dearbhail McDonald

Dearbhail McDonald

THE High Court has lifted an injunction against the imminent deportation of a man described as “the foremost organiser and facilitator of travel by extremists prepared to undertake violent action” on behalf of the so-called Islamic State.

The State wants to deport the man, who arrived in Ireland in 2000 - and was granted residency here on the basis of his Irish born child – because gardai believe he facilitates and organises the travel of Islamic extremists to join IS in Syria and other conflict zones including Afghanistan and Iraq.

This afternoon the High Court heard that the State believes the man is consulted by and gives directions to senior, violent extremist leaders outside of Ireland.

High Court judge Ms Justice Carmel Stewart agreed to lift an interim (temporary) interlocutory injunction granted on December 21st last to the man, preventing his imminent deportation.

Judge Stewart refused to grant a stay on her order, stating that the greatest injustice lay in continuing the injunction.

Senior Counsel Remy Farrell, for the department of justice, said the man – who cannot be named by court order – was involved in “a nihilistic organisation that poses an existential threat to this state and to other states”.

The man, who attended today’s proceedings, denied allegations that he is affiliated with IS and organises travel for its fighters.

It is expected that he will appeal today’s order in the Court of Appeal.

Earlier today, the High Court heard Mr Farrell say the man has been recruiting people in Ireland to travel abroad to participate in 'Jihad'.

Senior Counsel Michael Lynn, representing the man, said that his client is a bona fide applicant for refugee status under the 1996 Refugee Act and said the man was being pressed to meet allegations of the "utmost seriousness" in an emergency manner in circumstances where the State knew a second set of judicial review proceedings would be brought.

A deportation order can only be challenged by way of judicial review proceedings.

Mr Lynn told Judge Stewart that the allegations of involvement in jihadist recruitment were first made last March, yet the State did not move a deportation order until the end of November.

"Arrangements have been made to remove the applicant before he has had proper time to seek his remedy in the courts," said Mr Lynn.

However Remy Farrell SC, for the department of justice, told the court that it was "wholly illusory" to suggest that pressure was now being applied to the applicant whom the Minister for Justice, the court heard, does not necessarily accept is a bona fide refugee applicant.

Mr Farrell told the court that it is the State's case that the man is involved in the recruitment of others for the purpose of going abroad for what is now commonly referred to as Jihad.

Mr Farrell said the allegations were made as far back as last March and that the applicant had denied them, saying he had not been convicted of any such offences.

The applicant had opted to challenge the deportation order, said Mr Farrell, who added that this had allowed for the making of an application for a stay on an injunction on an ex parte (one sided only) basis by the man.

The State had come back into court in light of that injunction granted on December 21st - notifying the applicant of its intention to seek to discharge the injunction on Christmas Eve last - on what Mr Farrell described as a "fairly explicit assertion of national security".

"It is not an application that is made lightly" added Mr Farrell.

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