The applicant claimed that he had a well-founded fear of persecution as a member of Fatah wanted by the Israeli authorities and at risk of expulsion by the Palestinian authorities to Israel.
The Refugee Appeals Tribunal held against the applicant on credibility grounds, finding that it was not plausible that he would suddenly be the focus of attention having remained trouble free in previous years, that it was not plausible that the Palestinian authorities would expel him and that it was implausible the he could have made his way to Ireland with false identity documentation.
The Court granted leave, finding that the lack of plausibility in the matters held against the applicant could go to an assessment of overall credibility but that there had to be some identifiable reason for doubting the central issue which was simply supported by the more peripheral doubts. The Court held that it was substantially arguable that the credibility of the central issue had been unduly influenced by the Tribunal’s doubts relating to peripheral issues.
The Court further held that there were substantial grounds to argue that an insufficient rational basis existed for concluding that the applicant’s story was not credible, that the process by which the Tribunal reached its conclusion was lacking in sufficient examination of country of origin information and rested on conjecture and gut feeling.