A Very Odd Case – Richard O’Halloran

And is this the end of the very odd case of Richard O’Halloran and the Irish Government?  Will we every know why they were so lax in getting him home?

– Mr O’Halloran is home now in Ireland after “lengthy” and “closely-guarded negotiations” between the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Chinese authorities.

To understand the saga please start at the end of this page as updates are added as we find them.

  • Richard O’Halloran’s mother, Catherine is the niece of the late Taoiseach,  Garrett FitzGerald.
  • Her Grandfather, Desmond FitzGerald was the first Minister for Foreign Affairs in the newly formed Irish Free State in 1922.
  • A relationship that makes the tardiness of Simon Coveney and the Irish Government all the more baffling – don’t they want him home – for some reason?

Richard O’Halloran reunited with family after three years – 29 Jan 2022

The long and tortuous road home for Richard O’Halloran – 29 Jan 2022

16 Jan 2022 – Wife of detained Richard O’Halloran wants Coveney to travel to China –  Richard O’Halloran, a 46-year-old father of four, has been blocked from leaving China since February 2019 over a legal dispute involving a Dublin-based aircraft leasing firm he works for. –

7 Jan 2022 – Case of Irishman stranded in China for three years to be raised in Oireachtas – Just going through the motions as Simon Coveney seems to have no intention of doing anything of significance to bring him home –

Case of Irishman stranded in China for three years to be raised in Oireachtas

6 Jan 2022 – Family fear Dublin dad trapped in Shanghai wont get home this yearMr O’Halloran went voluntarily to China in March, 2019 to meet investors and discover what had happened to CALS Chinese parent company. After a week of business meetings in Shanghai, he was detained at passport control at the airport as he tried to board his flight back to Dublin. After several police interviews, he was issued with an exit ban and has been stuck in China ever since.

Richard O’Halloran appears in Chinese court as timeline over his case remains ‘uncertain’ – 5 Aug 2021

Feb 2021 Simon Coveney asked Brian Cowen to cancel a proposed discussion in the Irish Seanad to examine Richard’s case…now why would he do that? 

1 June 2021 – FIRST face to face discussion – Coveney discusses case of detained Irish businessman with Chinese minister

31 May 2021 – Coveney raised Richard O’Halloran case at meeting with Chinese foreign minister

18 April 2021 – ‘Slow but positive progress’ made in case of detained Irishman in China

1 Mar 2021 – Irish man detained in China back in court in bid to exit country

25 Feb 2021 – China’s Detention of Irish Businessman Spotlights Global Issue

18 Feb 2021 – ‘This could go on and on and on’ – Irishman held in China

18 Feb 2021 – Irish man detained in China: ‘There is no reason for me to be stuck here’

18 Feb 2021 – Government Needs to Step Up Campaign for Richard O’Halloran’s Release – Tóibín

15 Feb 2021 – Seanad leader vows to do ‘absolutely everything’ to bring home Irishman detained in China for almost two years

Senator McDowell said that he was intending to put forward a motion to debate Mr O’Halloran’s case. However, he was contacted by Foreign Affairs Minister, Simon Coveney, and asked to not debate the issue as it is “at a delicate stage of negotiation”.

11 Feb 2021 – Beijing should release Irishman as Chinese New Year ‘gesture’, says TD

11 Feb 2021 – Three more MEPs join calls for release of Irish businessman being held without charge in China

5 Feb 2021 – Irish man detained ‘illegally’ in China hospitalised twice, says lawyer

1 Feb 2021 – China’s president responds to Higgins letter about detained Dubliner

The Chinese embassy said more than 7,000 Chinese nationals have lost €160 million from money “illegally collected from the public” in China in a crowdfunding scheme and that about €50 million was transferred to CIALS to buy the Airbus A330 aircraft.

21 Jan 2021 – Irish MEPs call on Chinese government to allow Dublin man return home

24 Dec 2020 – Mother of Irish man held in China ‘terribly disappointed with Government’

  • Richard O’Halloran’s mother, Catherine is the niece of the late Taoiseach,  Garrett FitzGerald.  Her Grandfather, Desmond FitzGerald was the first Minister for Foreign Affairs in the newly formed Irish Free State in 1922.  A relationship that makes the tardiness of Simon Coveney and the Irish Government all the more baffling.

5 Dec 2020 – Lesson here for anyone thinking of going to China – Family of Irish man held in China: ‘Nobody is helping us – we are just begging for help’

23 Nov 2020 – Why is the Irish state not doing more to release an Irish citizen held against his will in China?  GRIPT (Best article)

1 Sept 2018 – Analysis: CALS chairman caught up in China’s P2P clampdown

CNCALS.com, which was taken offline after Airfinance Journal made inquiries about the website, published a now-deleted press release in January 2018 saying the company had leased an Airbus A330-300 purchased through crowdfunding to Finnair.

Huijbers says that press release is incorrect. Finnair also confirms it does not have any aircraft from CALS.

 

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