IBRAHIM HALAWA, the Irishman who spent four years in an Egyptian prison, says his decision to appear on The Late Late Show was the biggest mistake of his life.
Halawa, 22, appeared on the show last November, just over a week after returning to Ireland.
However speaking to students at the University of Limerick, he said he spent half the time addressing ‘stupid’ rumours rather than telling his story.
“The biggest mistake of my life was sitting on that couch,” he said
“Twenty minutes on that couch could never justify four years of torment.”
He added: “I was being scrutinised, I wasn’t being brought to hear my story.
“I looked at the cameras and felt that no matter how much these cameras film for the next 28 minutes, they will never fulfill my four years and two months of pain.”
Reflecting on the experience, Halawa said: “You get out of prison and they put you in another cell, it really kills you.
“There were times after where I would wish I could go back to my prison cell.”
In 2013, aged 17, Halawa was in Egypt on a family holiday when he was arrested for allegedly taking part in anti-government protests.
He was finally acquitted at a mass trial last August, with the proceedings having been adjourned on 28 previous occasions.
During his incarceration, there were concerns over the Dubliner’s health and the conditions in which he was being kept.
In December 2016 he went on hunger strike, while last April, the Irish Government sent a doctor to assess him over grave concerns about his health.