Egyptian foreign minister to review case of boy abducted from Ireland in 2009
Independent TD criticises lack of urgency on case and lack of information to family
Joan Collins: “ A complete lack of urgency on the part of the State in dealing with this case.”
Egypt’s foreign affairs minister Nabil Fahmi has given a commitment to review the case of six-year-old Faris Heeney, who was abducted by his uncle and taken to Cairo four years ago.
Family members of the boy were in the Dáil gallery as Independent TD Joan Collins raised the issue. She said there had been a “complete lack of urgency on the part of the State in dealing with this case”, on which the child’s mother had campaigned for four years.
The Dublin South Central TD said the family had their first meeting recently with Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald, who told them Minister for Justice Alan Shatter had written to his Egyptian counterpart.
The Minister had promised to keep the family informed, Ms Collins said, but “the family has not received any information over the last two weeks”.
She said four years was a long time for the family to have to wait for the State to take this action, and the Government was well aware Egypt was not a signatory to The Hague Convention on Human Rights which imposed statutory obligations on countries on child abduction.
She called on Mr Gilmore to guarantee the case would be pursued with urgency, and that the necessary steps would be taken to bring the child back to Ireland.
Giving that assurance, Mr Gilmore said he took a personal interest in the case, and had spoken to Mr Fahmi, telling him there was widespread public concern in Ireland about this case. Mr Gilmore told his Egyptian counterpart he had raised the case on two other occasions with Mr Fahmi’s predecessors and that “I am most anxious that a solution be found as a matter of urgency”.
He said Mr Shatter’s letter to his Egyptian counterpart proposed the signing of an agreement to facilitate the return of children who had been abducted. The Tánaiste said he would be following up with Mr Fahmi and “will keep the family informed”.