Mother of abducted boy meets Egyptian diplomats

Tuesday 29 October 2013 22.54
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Six-year-old Faris Heeney was smuggled out of Ireland in 2009
Six-year-old Faris Heeney was smuggled out of Ireland in 2009
The Heeney family appealed for the Government's help after today's meeting
The Heeney family appealed for the Government's help after today's meeting

The mother of abducted Irish boy Faris Heeney met Egyptian diplomats in Dublin this morning.

Norma Heeney has been campaigning for four years to have her son brought home from Egypt.

The boy, then aged two, was smuggled out of Ireland in 2009 by his uncle Mostafa Ismaeli.

He was later arrested and is serving a six-year sentence for abduction in Portlaoise Prison.

It is understood the child is living with his father in Tanta, north of Cairo.

Ms Heeney said little progress had been made at her meeting with officials from the Egyptian embassy in Dublin today.

She will meet Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald next week and has appealed to the Government to help to bring her son back to Ireland.

The Department of Justice has said that Egypt is not party to the Hague Convention and it is therefore not able to assist the family in their efforts.

However, it said that officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs are assisting the Heeney family.

The Department of Foreign Affairs say they have provided consular assistance to the family of Faris Daniel Heeney.

The spokesperson said the Department is ready to meet with the family and that their case has been raised by the Department at Foreign Minister level on three occasions.

Their case was raised by Micheál Martin in February 2010 while he was Minister for Foreign Affairs and by Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore in September 2011 and February 2012.  

Asked if it would be correct to say that a year and a half has elapsed since it was last raised, the spokesperson stressed that February 2012 was the last time it was discussed "at Foreign Minister level."