A deal has been agreed to bring Irish businessman Richard O’Halloran back home to Ireland from China.
The Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney confirmed the news in a statement this afternoon.
The Irish father-of-four has been unable to leave China for almost three years after Beijing placed him under a Chinese Exit Ban.
While the aircraft leasing executive was free to move around within the country, he was not allowed to return home to his family.
Minister Simon Coveney said he will now be able to return to Ireland shortly.
“This has been a difficult time for Mr O’Halloran and his family,” he said.
“The Government has been actively engaged on the matter throughout and is delighted it has reached a successful result.
“I wish to acknowledge the recent cooperation of the Chinese Embassy in Ireland and of the Chinese authorities, and to thank all those who have assisted in achieving this positive outcome.”
Dublin man Richard O'Halloran has been banned from leaving China since February 2019. His family are calling on the Irish Government to help. Tune in to @thehardshoulder for more on this from 4 pic.twitter.com/NF9PGtItkx
— NewstalkFM (@NewstalkFM) February 12, 2021
In an interview with Newstalk reporter Josh Crosbie last year, Richard’s wife Tara O’Halloran said the experience has been “devastating” for the family.
The ban was put in place due to an allegation against an executive in the Chinese firm that owns CALS (Chima International Aviation Leasing Service) Ireland, the aircraft leasing company Richard works for.
Mr O’Halloran travelled to China to try and resolve the issue and has been there ever since.
There has never been any complaint or any allegation against him or the Irish company. There are no charges against him, nor has there been any suspicion or accusation of wrong-doing against him or the company.
It is hoped he will now return this weekend.
With reporting from Josh Crosbie.