Fine Gael TD for Dublin South-West, Colm Brophy, has praised the work by current and former Taoisigh and Foreign Affairs Ministers in securing the release of Ibrahim Halawa from an Egyptian prison.
Deputy Brophy, who was a member of an Oireachtas delegation visited his local constituent in jail last January, said Ibrahim’s release was a long drawn out diplomatic affair with Irish officials relentlessly lobbying their Egyptian counterparts and making representations on behalf of Ibrahim.
“The work of Taoisigh Varadkar and Kenny and Foreign Ministers Coveney and Flanagan in this cannot be understated. This was a long diplomatic affair and through no fault on the Irish side, Ibrahim was locked up for more than four years in Egypt before being acquitted on all charges.
“Every singular effort was made to secure his release and perseverance has finally paid off. I welcome his release today. Ibrahim has waited long enough for it,” Deputy Brophy said.
“I was delighted to hear of Ibrahim’s final release from prison late on Thursday night. It has been a terrible ordeal for him and his family. It is finally coming to an end and everyone is looking forward to seeing Ibrahim back in Firhouse over coming days.
“An innocent Irishman is on the way home over coming days and I want to particularly thank the efforts of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and his predecessor Enda Kenny. Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney and indeed his predecessor, Charlie Flanagan, have been to the very forefront of this battle to secure Ibrahim’s release from prison and expedite the process to have him returned home.
“Ibrahim and his sisters never committed any wrong doing or broke any laws in Egypt in 2013. Their innocence has been confirmed and hopefully a young Irishman can now get back to normal life,” Deputy Brophy said.