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Desperate Dublin dad-of-four detained against his will in China begs to be returned home

Richard, from Foxrock, had travelled to China to resolve a dispute between his employer and Chinese authorities but has since been detained.

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Richard O'Halloran

Richard O'Halloran

Richard O'Halloran

A desperate Dublin dad speaks out for the first time tonight about how he is being held against his will in China.

Businessman and father of four, Richard O’Halloran, has been unable to leave the country since he travelled there in February 2019.

Richard, from Foxrock, had travelled to China to resolve a dispute between his employer and Chinese authorities but has since been detained.

Mr O'Halloran works for the aircraft leasing company, China International Aviation Leasing Service (CALS Ireland).

The Dublin man has not been accused of any wrongdoing and has assisted the Chinese in their prosecution of Min Jiedong, the owner of the Dublin firm.

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Richard O'Halloran

Richard O'Halloran

Richard O'Halloran

Jiedong has been jailed for defrauding Chinese investors in a fundraising scheme used to buy an aircraft now leased to a Finnish airline.

Mr O’Halloran joined the company after the scheme and two years after his detention his family say they are concerned for his physical and mental health. He has already been hospitalised on two occasions with serious medical issues.

In an exclusive interview with RTÉ’s Prime Time, he tells journalist Yvonne Murray that: “It's very difficult to explain to a five-year-old, now seven, that Daddy's not coming home.

“I’m a very hands-on father and literally within the blink of an eye that’s all gone. It’s very difficult for me to process but for the children it's devastating. It's very difficult to explain to a five-year-old, now seven, that Daddy's not coming home for your birthday, your communion, your confirmation or Christmas.

“There is no reason for me to be stuck here,” he adds. “I should be allowed to return home to continue running the Irish entity and returning money to China as I said I will do.

“I think it’s a lack of trust, a breakdown in communication somewhere. I think the judges presiding over the enforcement side of this particular case now are... struggling with the complexities as they perceive it for this transaction.”

He continues: “My hope is that the Chinese authorities see sense and see that the commercial solution that we are putting forward is the most viable way forward. It’s the best solution for everybody.”

The full interview with Richard O’Halloran will be broadcast on Prime Time, Thursday night at 9.35pm on RTÉ One.

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