Detention of Irish citizen in China

 

Sir, – Jennifer Bray’s article “Coveney under pressure to answer questions on Zappone job” (News, August 2nd) is not the only issue the Minister for Foreign Affairs needs to address. The continuing detention of Irish citizen Richard O’Halloran in China also needs urgent attention, and answers.

Despite reports in the past about progress been made in the case, there is no sign of Mr O’Halloran returning to the State soon. The Minister needs to clarify what progress, if any, is being made in securing Mr O’Halloran’s return to the State. For over two years he has been denied permission to leave China, in what amounts to a commercial dispute. No Irish or European citizen should be treated in such a manner.

If China is interested in fostering better relationships with Ireland and the European Union, it should free Richard O Halloran from arbitrary detention without further delay. It would be helpful if Mr Coveney could issue a statement and clarify the current situation regarding his detention. – Yours, etc,

CONOR HOGARTY,

Blackrock,

Co Dublin.