Richard O’ Halloran Reunited With Family After Three Years


Irish businessman Richard O’ Halloran has arrived back in Ireland after three years.

Mr O’Halloran was granted permission to leave China on Friday after becoming embroiled in a legal dispute involving the chairman and main shareholder of his Dublin-based company.

This morning he was reunited with his family at Dublin Airport.


Mr O’Halloran was a director at CALS Ireland (China International Aviation Leasing Service)  an aircraft leasing firm based in Dublin.

The company had been in dispute with the Chinese authorities, who had stopped Mr O’Halloran from leaving China for almost three years.

Mr O’Halloran issued a statement this morning.

“This is a day of great happiness and emotion as I rejoin Tara, Ben, Amber, Isabella, and Scarlett after three years,” he said.

“There was considerable input by a number of key individuals who were central in helping to arrive at this positive outcome and it is also important that I take this opportunity to thank and to express my sincere appreciation and that of my family, for the incredible support we have received over the past three years.

“Mr Simon Coveney, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, was a key figure in reaching a solution and he invested huge effort over a long period, but particularly in recent weeks, leading to a positive outcome.

“My wider family and friends of the family have been so important in the support they provided both in a practical and emotional sense; and with Tara I express our sincere gratitude. I would like in particular to thank my mother and father. Throughout the three-year period there have been so many people who have signed petitions, who were active on social media, who wrote letters to newspapers, and who made unsolicited generous contact with my family with offers of support and help. This generosity of spirit can never be repaid.

“I would like to sincerely thank The President of Ireland, Mr. Michael D. Higgins who wrote to his counterpart in China.

“A number of politicians at national and European level have been so supportive and I am sure I am missing some, but I have to sincerely express my gratitude to Deputies Charlie Flanagan TD, Peadar Tóibín TD, Eoin Ó Broin TD, Cathal Berry TD; and Cormac Devlin TD; Senator Michael McDowell, Senator Gerard Craughwell, Senator Barry Ward; and in Europe, Barry Andrews MEP, Sean Kelly MEP, and Frances Fitzgerald MEP. Also, Councillor Hazel Chu in Dublin.

“I would like to acknowledge the the kindness of the people in China who looked after me when I was unwell and also note the support of Consular officials Wendy Dorman-Smith and Alison Meagher.

“I would like to sincerely thank the media in Ireland and overseas, for all the interest and support shown to Tara, my family and myself since 2019. The role of the media has been essential in maintaining awareness about the challenging situation I was in and I am very grateful for that. While I realise and understand the huge public interest, as reflected by the media, I hope in the coming period to spend time in private with my family and slowly return to normal living in Ireland.

“A number of other people have been very instrumental in the background in assisting in arriving at a solution including Ulick McEvaddy; my colleague in CALS Donal Martin; Denis O’Brien; and my brother David O’Halloran (who resides in the US). I know they are reluctant to take any credit, but I have to acknowledge their help.

“Finally, and most importantly, my own family; Ben, Amber, Isabella, Scarlett and especially my wife Tara. This has been an incredible challenge for them too and they endured many dark days. But they were always a beacon of light and hope for me and the hundreds of Messenger calls we had helped me to remain positive. Tara was an incredible tower of strength and kept the show on the road. I am home with them now and we are all looking forward to getting to know each other again and doing normal everyday family things.

“Once again, my sincere heartfelt thanks to everybody.”