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A young man suspected of a string of attacks in Dundalk yesterday has been charged with murder.
Mohamed Morei (18) appeared at Dundalk District Court at 6.50pm this evening, roughly 33 hours after he was arrested near the scene of the fatal stabbing on Wednesday.
Insp Martin Beggy told the court that gardaí are currently unsure of the man’s nationality. He said they have concerns about his psychological wellbeing.
A large crowd had gathered outside court to view Mr Morei when he arrived under an armed Garda escort. A brief melee broke out as the suspect was taken from a Garda van into the court building, with some onlookers shouting racial slurs and telling him to “go back to Egypt”.
Gardaí armed with sub-machine guns stood guard at the door, preventing members of the public from following the accused into court.
The accused appeared in court wearing a black jumper. He remained in the body of the court surrounded by gardaí during the short hearing. He consulted with his solicitor with the aid of an interpreter.
Mr Morei was released from his handcuffs before the hearing began. He was in an agitated state during the hearing and shouted repeatedly in Arabic and English, “I am no gay”, “I am no Muslim” and “I am no Pakistani” in the courtroom.
Garda Damien Welby told Judge Gerry Jones the accused was arrested on a charge of murder at 4.31pm outside Dundalk Garda station. Mr Morei is accused of murdering 24-year-old Japanese man Yosuke Sasaki shortly before 9am on Wednesday, January 3rd.
Asked by the judge where Mr Morei is from, Insp Beggy replied that investigators are having trouble establishing his nationality.
Asked whether the accused requires medical attention, the Inspector said “there are matters we would be concerned about”.
Defence solicitor Barry Callan asked that Mr Morei receive “appropriate medical treatment while in custody”.
The judge directed that “all appropriate psychological and medical treatment” be provided to the accused.
Judge Jones asked whether gardaí know the reasons behind the alleged attack. Insp Beggy said “there is nothing in common with the deceased and the accused”.
The judge granted a defence request for legal aid and for an Arabic interpreter for future court dates.
Judge Jones remanded Mr Morei in custody until next Thursday at 10am in Cloverhill District Court.
There was no application for bail from the defence.
Following the hearing, Mr Morei was placed back in handcuffs and held in the courtroom for about 10 minutes before being taken out a side entrance. He was put in a different Garda van and transported to Cloverhill Prison.
The gathered crowd outside continued to shout at the empty Garda van as it drove away in a different direction.