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Min Coveney welcomes Ibrahim Halawa’s return home to Ireland

Ireland, Minister Simon Coveney, Consular, Press Releases, Ireland, 2017

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade welcomes Ibrahim Halawa’s return home to Ireland

 

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney TD, has confirmed that Ibrahim Halawa has returned to Ireland and been reunited with his family.

He arrived in Dublin earlier today accompanied by his sister, Nosayba, and Ireland’s Ambassador to Egypt, Sean O’Regan. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, at the request of Ibrahim and his family, made arrangements for Ibrahim to be reunited with his family in a private area of Dublin airport.

It is understood that Ibrahim will be spending some days at a private location with family members.

Minister Coveney said: 

“I am delighted to confirm that Ibrahim Halawa has now arrived back in Ireland and been reunited with his family. 

 
"This is a very happy day for Ibrahim and his family, and a day of great joy also for all of his friends and supporters.  


"I and all of my colleagues in Government are very pleased that Ibrahim’s ordeal is now at an end, and that he is back home with his family.

"There will be many challenges for Ibrahim as he comes to terms with all that he has been through, and all the changes that have taken pace while he has been detained in Egypt.


"He will need time and space in the period ahead and I hope that his privacy and that of his family will be respected.
 


"This case has been one of the most complex, sensitive and difficult consular cases to which the Irish Government has ever responded.  Work on Ibrahim Halawa’s behalf has involved significant and sustained effort at the highest Government levels, by Parliamentarians of all hues; engagement at a range of senior official and diplomatic levels; widespread consultation, dialogue and advocacy with EU partners and in many capitals; the harnessing of expertise in Egyptian and international law and other areas; and an exceptional commitment by many public servants and Embassy officials – both diplomats and locally-engaged staff - over more than four years.  There were some difficult and dark times, but sight was never lost of our two key objectives – to get Ibrahim home, and to do everything possible to safeguard his rights and welfare for as long as he remained in the custody.  I want to express on behalf of the Government very sincere thanks to everyone who has been part of the effort to ensure that we would reach this happy day, when Ibrahim is finally and safely back home
.

"My thoughts today are with Ibrahim and his parents, siblings and extended family.  They have waited a long time for this day; they deserve to savour and enjoy it.”

ENDS