The prosecution case in the trial of Irishman Ibrahim Halawa in Egypt is set to end later this month.

Mr Halawa was jailed after being arrested during protests in Cairo in August 2013 and hearings related to that arrest have been adjourned and delayed repeatedly since then.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said: "I welcome the indications that the trial is now progressing into its final stages."

At the latest hearing in Cairo, more police witnesses were called and the court was told another five more will be called.

The prosecution case will be completed on 9 July, Mr Coveney said.

"A team of official Irish observers will again be present in court for that hearing," he said.

"The Irish Government cannot intervene in a case that is before the Egyptian courts.

"What we can do, and what we are doing, is redoubling our efforts to ensure that the Egyptian authorities fulfil the clear commitment which they have given us to resolve this issue as soon as the trial ends, and return Ibrahim Halawa to Ireland."

Mr Halawa has gone on hunger strike during his imprisonment.

Mr Coveney said he would speak to Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry "as soon as possible to impress upon him how important I believe this matter is, and to reinforce the need for its early resolution".

He added: "I and my officials are working hard towards that goal and we will continue to do so. I am determined to do everything I can as Minister for Foreign Affairs to make sure that Ibrahim Halawa is back home in Ireland with his family as soon as possible."

Former taoiseach Enda Kenny wrote to Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi pleading for Mr Halawa's release on humanitarian grounds.

Mr el-Sisi said he could be released, but only once the trial has run its course.