Fitzgerald raises the case of Irishman prevented from leaving China with EU Authorities
Press Statement from Frances Fitzgerald MEP
Tuesday 9th February 2021
Frances Fitzgerald MEP has urged the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, to intervene in the case of Irishman Richard O’Halloran, who has been prevented from leaving China since February 2019.
Mr. O’Halloran was prevented from leaving the country due to a dispute between his employers and the Chinese authorities, though no allegation has ever been levelled against him.
“Every effort must be made to bring Richard O’Halloran home urgently. It has now been 2 years of anguish for him and his family,” stated Ms. Fitzgerald.
“No allegation has ever been levelled against Mr. O’Halloran personally. The events under investigation took place a year before he joined the company.
“Given the recent EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment and given the general increase in economic cooperation between the EU and China, it should be a major source of concern that an EU citizen is effectively being detained against their will for such a period.
“I am urging EU authorities to intervene in this case with the Chinese authorities where the response seems to be personally disproportionate against Mr. O’Halloran and is a serious source of concern to many citizens in Ireland,” concluded Ms. Fitzgerald.
Ms. Fitzgerald also wrote to the Chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation to China, Reinhard Butikofer, and to the Head of the Chinese Mission to the EU, Ambassador Zhang Ming, in order to raise Mr. O'Halloran's case and seek an urgent resolution to the issue.