Tuesday 22 October 2019

'Homeless and stateless' man still living rough at Europort

Platon Michailidis at the terminal in Rosslare Europort
Platon Michailidis at the terminal in Rosslare Europort

Pádraig Byrne

Two weeks since his story appeared in this newspaper, a 'stateless and homeless' man continues to live on the streets surrounding Rosslare Europort.

Platon Michailidis is a man who comes with a long and complicated back story. A Greek Orthodox Christian, he was born in Moscow, holds an old Soviet Union passport, moved to Greece where he held citizenship, before moving to the USA where he lived for 14 years, setting up his own company called MPA design in Brooklyn.

Mr Michailidis claims that religious persecution has followed him around the globe and that he has been victimised as a result of his beliefs - this being part of the reason why he fled the US for Europe. Having spent time in immigrant detention centres in the UK and direct provision centres in Ireland, he was supposedly presented with temporary travel documents by the Department of Justice and told he could leave Ireland on a ferry to France, with the intention of presenting at the Swiss border and seeking asylum there.

However, Mr Michailidis was not allowed to travel and ever since he has been stuck living around the Europort building. Since the publication of the previous article, Mr Michailidis says that things have taken a turn for the worst. While an official from immigration made contact with him last week, he says he is still waiting to be allowed to leave the country as his circumstances deteriorate. He says he is no longer allowed to stay within the confines of the port at night time and has been living on the street while he waits for the Europort to re-open. Recently, he was also arrested by gardaí and brought to Wexford Garda Station for questioning before being released.

'I get in the building like before when it opens,' he said. 'The security guys tell me to stay downstairs, but I'm no longer allowed shelter at night and I spend time outside. I got cold the night they arrested me. My nose is running, I've got fever and my throat hurts. Basically, I'm sick and have to spend my nights on the street.'

An air of mystery surrounds Mr Michailidis' case and he claims that attempts are being made to force him to accept his Greek citizenship back, something he renounced long ago. The Department of Justice previously refused to comment on the matter. While there seem to be no simple answers, the fact remains that Mr Michailidis is left living rough around Rosslare Europort, desperately awaiting updates in a bid to leave Ireland behind him.

Wexford People

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