The bail hearing was heard at Naas District Court yesterday
A man who has been housed at the Eyre Powell Hotel in Newbridge for the past seven years while seeking asylum appeared at Naas District Court yesterday Wednesday, January 16 charged with a serious assault on a man who works at the hotel.
Oussama Denine, 36, with an address at the Eyre Powell Hotel is alleged to have assaulted Michael Browne at the hotel the day before, Tuesday, January 15.
Garda Conor Sheehan said that it would be alleged that Mr Denine, an Algerian national, punched Mr Browne eight times, fracturing his eye socket.
Garda Sheehan said that doctors weren’t clear if there were more injuries because of the severity of the swelling to his face. He said that it was believed a disagreement about Mr Denine cooking food in his own room lead to the alleged assault.
The rules of the Eyre Powell is that residents are not permitted, for safety reasons, to cook in their own rooms.
Gardai objected to bail for the defendant, based on the seriousness of the charge.
They also had a concern about where he would stay because while he remains an asylum seeker his residence remains the Eyre Powell, but obviously returning there was problematic after the alleged assault.
Representing Mr Denine, Timmy Kennelly explained that his client had been in the hotel for the past seven years waiting for an adjudication in his application for asylum. He explained that Mr Denine found it “incredibly frustrating”.
“He was very cooperative with Garda Sheehan at the time of the alleged incident, and he wanted to give his side of the story.
“He has a PPS number and is working in a warehouse,” he said, adding that Mr Denine just wanted a decision on his asylum application one way or another.
“I spoke to him at length. He just wants them decide. If they don’t want him to stay then they should just send him back,” Mr Kennelly said.
“He simply wanted to cook his own food. He’s been here seven years and he hasn’t left. So he obviously wants to stay.”
Judge Desmond Zaidan wondered how the State could justify a seven year delay in deciding on the asylum application.
“He’s entitled to get a decision. This could only happen in Ireland,” the judge noted.
Mr Kennelly said that his client had no trouble abiding by any conditions it might impose for bail, like a curfew, or staying away from the Eyre Powell.
“He has a sum of cash that he can lodge if necessary. It’s money he has worked hard for.
Judge Zaidan refused to grant bail and adjourned the matter for seven days.