Monday 11 December 2017

Family of kidnapped Faris Daniel Heeney to meet Children’s Minster Frances Fitzgerald

Emma Jane Hade

Emma Jane Hade

THE family of Faris Daniel Heeney are set to meet with the Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald later this afternoon.

His heartbroken mother Norma will be accompanied by her parents Marian and Noel, and her sisters Kate and Amy, to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs for the meeting set to take place at 4pm this afternoon.

They are seeking government assistance to help bring six-year-old Faris- an Irish national- home, after he was kidnapped and brought to Egypt in July 2009.

The young boy is currently living with his father- an Egyptian national- and his family in Tanta, north of Cairo.

The family last week met with Egyptian diplomats in their embassy in Dublin, and said they were “very disappointed” with the meeting which encouraged them to take legal action against the boy’s father, Amir Ismaeil, in Egypt.

Faris’ grandmother Marian said that the family now have “grave concerns for Faris’ safety”, and that they have been consistently “stonewalled” by the government.

Last week, Mrs Heeney said that she feels “very let down” by the lack of assistance from the government, and that she will chain herself to the gates of Dail Eireann- “if that’s what it takes.”

Faris was taken to Egypt by his uncle Mostafa Ismaeil when he was two-years-old.  Mostafa later returned to Ireland and is now serving a six-year sentence for the abduction in Portlaoise prison.

Faris’ father Amir and his other brother fled Ireland two weeks after the abduction while on bail facing a charge of sexual assault.

The authorities face difficulties in helping to bring Faris home as Egypt is not a signatory to the Hague Convention on child abduction, and there is no extradition agreement in place with the North African country.

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