Irish pair held on Gaza ship freed

 

Two Irish men detained by Greek officials after a dispute broke out on a ship containing aid for Gaza were released today.

The Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed aid activists David Callander and Ken O’Keefe were freed by Greek authorities and allowed to leave the country.

It is understood the film-maker and former US marine were charged with causing minor damage to the ship before their release.

A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs said: “We have issued them with emergency travel documents and continue to provide consular assistance.”

The volunteers were part of the Road to Hope convoy bringing aid to Gaza.

However, their vessel, the Strofades IV, was taken to Greece on Thursday after a serious dispute broke out between the boat’s Greek captain and the organisers of the aid convoy after it left the Libyan port of Derna.

Mr Callander claimed a Greek team of 50 to 60 commandos boarded the ship when it docked at the Greek port of Piraeus and held the volunteers, who included seven British nationals and an Algerian, at gunpoint against their will.

Six other Irish nationals were stranded when the Greek-owned vessel left the port. They were part of a group of 55 aid workers that had passed through Libyan immigration and were due to board the vessel when it broke its moorings.