Katherine Zappone believes Ibrahim Halawa 'will be home soon'

Children's Minister Katherine Zappone has insisted progress is still taking place over the release of Ibrahim Halawa amid concern over the week-long delay in his return to Ireland, writes Fiachra Ó Cionnaith.

Ms Zappone, who represents the constituency where Mr Halawa is from, said she is "not concerned" about the delays and that consular staff are "working through day and night to get Ibrahim home as quickly as possible".

Speaking at a Youth Council of Ireland event at the Mansion House, the unaligned Independent TD said she is "sorry it's taking longer than anticipated" but said she believes Mr Halawa "will be home soon".

"I think progress is still happening, I spoke with Minister Coveney after cabinet later on in the afternoon, they're just working through administrative details, we have our consular workers there working through day and night to get Ibrahim home as quickly as possible.

"We just have to work with the Egyptians on that. But I am not concerned. I am sorry it's taking longer than anticipated but he will be home soon," Ms Zappone said.

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