Afghan who hates Irish people ‘incentivised to return home’ court told

Estuary House, Limerick
The incident is alleged to occurred at Estaury House on Henry Street
Estuary House, Limerick
The incident is alleged to occurred at Estaury House on Henry Street

AN AFGHAN national who said he hates Irish and white people, has been remanded in custody after he was charged with assaulting a Garda at an immigration office in Limerick last Monday.

Yusef Hashemi, (36) appeared before Limerick District Court this Tuesday charged with assaulting Garda Peter O’Grady at the Immigration office in Estuary House on Henry Street after he demanded that he be deported, despite living in Ireland since 2004.

Objecting to bail, Sgt Tony Miniter said Garda O’Grady was recovering in hospital with a suspected fracture of his cheekbone.

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Sgt Miniter said the State’s case was supported by medical evidence, CCTV footage and witness statements from the injured party and an independent witness.

Mr Hashemi had called to the immigration office the previous Friday in a very aggressive state. A female member of staff “hit the electronic panic button because she was so much in fear”.

Hashemi, who failed in his application for asylum, left the immigration office but returned on Monday morning and was again aggressive while dealing with a female member of staff.

When asked to leave, he lashed out and hit Garda O’Grady a number of blows to the face.

Asked why he was at the immigration office, Sgt Miniter said that Hashemi “wanted the State to pay for him to go home”.

“There is no obligation for him to stay, but he wanted the State to pay for him to return to Afghanistan – it’s a simple as that.”

Sgt Miniter said that he understood Mr Hashemi was lawfully licensed to be in Ireland until March 2017.

Asked what would happen then, Sgt Miniter said he didn’t know, but he was aware of a Dublin-based firm who assisted people being repatriated to their home country.

“The purpose of his visit to the station was to be deported but there was no warrant or necessity for him to be deported out of the country.”

“There was a powerful incentive for him to leave last Friday and this new charge will further incentivise him to go” Sgt Miniter added.

Defence solicitor John Herbert said his client alleged his house was broken in to four times in Limerick and he had family he wanted to return to.

Sgt Donal Cronin said that the State had huge concerns over the man’s demands as well as his living status.

“The direction of travel is now against the direction of travel of thousands of people from that part of the world and this is something that we find extraordinary,” Sgt Cronin said.

Judge Marian O’Leary said that she was refusing the application for bail and remanded Mr Hashemi in custody to May 3.