The Government is to send an independent medical expert to examine Ibrahim Halawa, the young Irish man in prison awaiting trial in Egypt.

The decision follows a discussion at Cabinet this morning.

Mr Halawa, who has been in custody for more than three years since his arrest at a demonstration in Cairo, is in poor health and on hunger strike, according to his family.

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone, in whose constituency Mr Halawa lives, said Taoiseach Enda Kenny and other ministers shared her concern about the situation at today's Cabinet.