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Man accused of recruiting people in Ireland to participate in 'Jihad' resisting deportation, court told


John McKenna has been banned from going anywhere west of the River Bann.

John McKenna has been banned from going anywhere west of the River Bann.

John McKenna has been banned from going anywhere west of the River Bann.

A non-national that the Republic of Ireland says has been recruiting people in Ireland to travel abroad to participate in 'Jihad' is resisting moves to immediately deport him.

This morning the Republic's Department of Justice moved an emergency application to lift an injunction, issued on December 21st last, to prevent the imminent deportation of the man who denies he is involved in Jihadist recruitment.

The State says its application to lift the injunction against the deportation order is being made on a "fairly explicit assertion of national security" and that it [the deportation order] must be given effect to.

The man, who previously withdrew an application for refugee status in Ireland, can not be named by court order.

However, the man, who made another application for refugee status earlier this year, is present in court for the proceedings.

The State's application to lift the injunction is being heard during the vacation sitting by High Court judge Ms Justice Carmel Stewart.

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.

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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.

Judge Stewart has now risen to consider a number of key documents.

The hearing will continue this afternoon.

Irish Independent

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