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Sunday 2 April 2023 Dublin: 8°C
Google Maps The M7 motorway near Naas, Co Kildare
# far from home
Afghan man found at side of Irish motorway with no knowledge of what country he was in
The man claims to have travelled as a stowaway for three months before ending up at the side of the M7 motorway near Naas, Co Kildare.

A 21-YEAR-OLD man, currently on remand in Cloverhill Prison, appears to have left Afghanistan three months ago before arriving in Ireland from France recently as a stowaway in a lorry.

‘Walli Ullah’, the name the man has given to authorities, was found at the side of the M7 motorway in Co Kildare a fortnight ago, reports the Kildare Nationalist.

He speaks no English and has no identification papers.

Conal Boyce, Ullah’s solicitor, told RTE’s Morning Ireland today that he believes his client “may well be entitled to refugee status”.

“He’s very confused, he’s just 21 years of age and finds himself in a different planet from where he grew up,” Boyce said.

When he was found he didn’t even know where he was.

Ullah’s native language is Pashto. Unable to find anyone who speaks the language, his legal team resorted to speaking to him via the Iranian language Farsi.

“It was sufficient to communicate for a conversation, he simply has no English at all” said Boyce.

Ullah was brought before Judge Desmond Zaidan in Naas District Court last week who took a “very humane” approach to the strange case according to Boyce.

Although the maximum penalty for a person in Ullah’s position (ie a non-national with no recognised form of identification) is 12 months in prison and a €3,000 fine, Judge Zaidan applied the probation act, meaning although the facts of the offence were proved no conviction was recorded.

Upon leaving court, Ullah was immediately re-arrested for the same offence.

“He’s like a fiddler’s elbow, in and out of court at the moment,” said Boyce.

We had to remand him in Cloverhill, there was nothing else to be done. But there is a very humane regime there also.
He’s in good health, he clutches his Koran to his chest each day in court.

Boyce says that now a representative of the Office of the Refugee Applications Commission (ORAC) will deal with Ullah and “try to help him out as best they can”.

It’s likely he will be accepted into the refugee status application process and then brought into some sort of assisted living situation.

Read: Ireland’s newest political party says racism accusations are “nonsense”

Read: More people have applied for asylum this year than in the entire of 2014

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