AN IRISHMAN who has been held against his will in China since February 2019 has spoken about his ordeal for the first time.

AN IRISHMAN who has been held against his will in China since February 2019 has spoken about his ordeal for the first time.
Dubliner Richard OHalloran travelled to Shanghai on a business trip in 2019 in an attempt to resolve a dispute between his employer, aircraft leasing company China International Aviation Leasing Service (CALS Ireland) and Chinese authorities.
The companys chairman has since been jailed by Chinese authorities for fraudulent activities.
The father-of-four from Foxrock, Dublin, has been held in Shanghai since arriving, despite no formal charges being levelled against him.
In an interview with RTÉs Prime Time, which airs tonight, Mr OHalloran appeals to the Chinese authorities to let him go home to be with his family.
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. said Mr OHalloran.
Mr OHalloran speaks about the business matters that brought him to Shanghai and his desperate wish to return home to his family.
The Sunday Independent reported last month that Shanghai police are demanding a $36m (30m) payment from Mr OHalloran before he can return home.
After being told in January that his exit ban was lifted, Mr OHalloran was turned away from his flight out of China.
Three MEPs wrote a letter to the Chinese Ambassador to the EU last week requesting Mr OHallorans release, further applying pressure on Chinese authorities after MEP Frances Fitzgerald also wrote to the Ambassador encouraging his release.
Im a very hands-on father and literally within the blink of an eye thats all gone. Its very difficult for me to process, but for the children, it’s devastating.
There is no reason for me to be stuck here. 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 its 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, Mr OHalloran said.
He hopes that the Chinese authorities see sense and recognise that the commercial solution being put forward is the most viable way forward.
Its the best solution for everybody, he said.
The full interview with Richard OHalloran will be aired on Prime Time tonight, on RTÉ One at 9:35pm.
Online Editors