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Laura Hutton/

Eight men appear in court over public order incident at Direct Provision centre

Eight accused appeared before the court all charged with violent disorder.

LAST UPDATE | 3 Jan 2023

UP TO 20 men were involved in an incident of violent disorder during “a serious public order incident” at a hotel in Killarney turned Direct Provision centre on Sunday evening, Killarney District Court was told today.

The incident involved a large group of Georgian men and a smaller number of Algerian men.

Eight accused – four Algerians and four Georgian men – appeared before the court all  charged with violent disorder. 

Killarney District Court heard how instructions from the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) were awaited.

Seven of the accused were granted bail on condition they leave Killarney to reside at Garda approved addresses in Meleek, Co Clare and Clonakilty, Co Cork in the case of three Algerians; while four Georgian men are to reside in Co Louth and Co Laois.

The State objected to bail in the case of an Algerian man alleged to have wielded a knife erratically in the course of the dispute, allegedly inflicting stab wounds on a number others.

In addition, a bus was also scheduled to leave Killarney at 1pm today with several men on board to transfer them to another location, the court heard.


Fouad Mekhazni, aged 27, of Room 1094 at Hotel Killarney, Park Road, and originally from Algeria, was before the court charged with one count of violent disorder contrary to Section 15 of the Criminal Justice Public Order Act.

He was also charged with producing an article capable of inflicting serious injury contrary to Section 11 of the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act, on 1 January at Hotel Killarney.

The State was objecting to bail, Sergeant Kieran O’Connell, prosecuting said. 

An Arabic interpreter was sworn in and Detective Garda Nigel Hennessy gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution at 7.31pm at Killarney Garda Station yesterday.

Mekhazni made no reply to the charges.

Outlining the objections to bail, Garda Hennessy said there was the nature and degree of seriousness of the offences, which stemmed from “a serious public order incident” on the grounds of Hotel Killarney on 1 January involving a group of males.

“A number of males received wounds consistent with being inflicted with a knife and which required hospital treatment,” the Detective Garda said.

There was also the strength of evidence captured on CCTV which clearly shows the accused involved in the incident and eyewitness accounts, he said. 

“Garda are of the belief if given bail he poses a threat to life and public safety of members of the community,” Detective Garda Hennessy stated.

This was based on his behaviour during the violent incident, he added.

“Gardaí have no knowledge of his history in his home country of Algeria,” he also said. 

Mekhazni had arrived into Ireland on 26 December 2021, 53 weeks ago, without any documentation and gardaí were trying to establish his identity and history through fingerprints with the help of Interpol.

They had established he had travelled from Algeria to France and then to Dubliln – and he must have had documentation to travel to France, the Garda said.

Solicitor Brendan Ahern, seeking bail, said his client was denying wielding a knife.

“It started with a small number of Algerians being set upon by a much larger group of Georgian men,” the solicitor put it to Detective Garda Hennessy.

The matter was still being investigated, was the reply.

“My client did not instigate this,” the solicitor continued. He was defending himself, the solicitor also said.

Detective Garda Hennessy said Fouad Mekhazni was “one of the main protagonists” and his behaviour was out of control and erratic.

So far, gardaí believed all the injuries sustained were from one person with a knife. A knife was found at the scene and forensic evidence was awaited.

His client resided with his wife and newborn baby in the hotel, the solicitor said. 

He was applying for asylum claiming he was being threatened in his own country. For the past year he had lived in three different centres and had not been in trouble.

Garda Hennessy said he had travelled from Algeria to France and had to have documents to do so.

“Four to five Algerian men and between 10 and 15 Georgian men” were involved in the incident, the court was told by the solicitor.

Judge David Waters said the main objection was being a danger to the community and asked the Garda to detail this. Garda Hennnessy said “he was the only person to produce a knife”. His behaviour was erratic; they were trying to establish his identity and he must have had travel documents to get to France.

Judge Waters refused bail and remanded him to appear via video link at Tralee District Court tomorrow. 

Other men charged 

A second Algerian man, Rabah Kouchih, aged 31, of Room 2083, Hotel Killarney was also before the court charged with violent disorder.

He had made no reply to the charge, Garda Hennessy said.

The State consented to bail on conditions including he surrendered his passport, stayed outside Killarney in a Garda approved address in Clonakilty and observed a curfew, Sergeant O’Connell outlined.

Judge David Waters remanded him and six co-accused, all with addresses in rooms at Hotel Killarney, on bail under conditions to Killarney District Court to appear on 7 February next for instructions from the DPP. 

Also charged with violent disorder was Allal Bazizt, aged 27.

“I’m not part of this group. I was trying to prevent the fighting,” he replied when charged at Tralee Garda Station earlier yesterday, the court heard. 

Bazizt is to reside in Meelick Co Clare.

Mounir Fadli aged 34 had made no reply to the charge and he also is to reside while on bail at Meelick.

A Georgian interpreter who travelled from Dublin was sworn in in the afternoon and four Georgian men residing in Hotel Killarney who were accused of violent disorder with the others were also granted bail on conditions.

None of the accused Georgian men spoke English, their solicitor Padraig O’Connell said. 

Zurabi Muqtiashvili, aged 36, had made no reply to the charge.

He is to reside at a B&B in Termonfeckin in Co Louth.

Giorgi Basharadze, aged 33, had replied “you saw everything on the camera” when charged.

He is to reside in Portarlington, Co Laois.

Levani Guliashvili, aged 32, appeared in court with injuries to his left hand and his right arm in a sling. These were sustained during the incident, his solicitor Padriag O’Connell said. He is scheduled for surgery at Cork University Hospital tomorrow morning.

“The whole time there I was only trying to calm things down,” the court heard he replied.

He has also been granted bail and is to reside after his treatment in Portarlington Co Laois.

Amiran Meparishvili, aged 36, made no reply to the charge.

He too was granted bail and is to reside in Co Laois.

Legal aid was granted in the case of all applications.

Meanwhile, the Garda investigation is continuing into an unprecedented incident of its kind in a Direct Provision Centre and other arrests are likely, according to gardaí.

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