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The Irishman and the €36m ‘ransom’ to leave China

In February 2019, Richard O’Halloran flew to Shanghai for a series of meetings and has been ‘held hostage’ by the authorities ever since. The Irish Government is facing growing calls to step up its response

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‘Wolf Warrior diplomacy’: Xi Jinping, before he became Chinese president, when he visited Croke Park in February 2012

‘Wolf Warrior diplomacy’: Xi Jinping, before he became Chinese president, when he visited Croke Park in February 2012

‘Wolf Warrior diplomacy’: Xi Jinping, before he became Chinese president, when he visited Croke Park in February 2012

As Dublin prepares to light up buildings red to celebrate Chinese New Year, an Irish businessman detained in Shanghai for “corporate ransom” has now missed two Christmases with his wife and four young children.

Richard O’Halloran, a 45-year-old Dublin businessman, has been told he must pay $36m to the Chinese authorities before he can leave the country. His plight has put the potential hazards of doing business with China under the spotlight.


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