Minister Flanagan agrees to meet 'extremely concerned' Hickey family

Minister Flanagan agrees to meet 'extremely concerned' Hickey family

Update 5.20pm: Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charlie Flanagan has responded to the appeal by the Hickey family for Government intervention by issuing a statement.

In response to recent reports about in respect of consular care aspects of Mr. Patrick Hickey's detention in Rio de Janeiro, Minister Flanagan stated: "The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade provides consular care to Irish citizens who have been arrested or detained overseas. We are currently assisting two Irish citizens detained in Rio de Janeiro.

"In general it is Department policy not to comment in detail publicly on individual consular cases, of which there have been almost 1500 already this year. Any Irish citizen who requests or avails of consular assistance is entitled to privacy and confidentiality. However, I wish to make certain points in response to today's statement from the Hickey family.

"The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is providing ongoing consular assistance to Mr. Hickey through the Irish Embassy and Consulate in Brazil.

"My officials are in ongoing contact with the family of this citizen and with legal representative acting on his behalf.

"Senior officials of the Department met with Mr Hickey's Dublin-based solicitors on Wednesday, 24 August, and discussed the family's concerns in detail, and explained the Department's approach to this consular case.

"In general terms, the Department's focus in cases of arrest or detention of Irish citizens overseas is on a number of specific issues including ensuring that the citizen has access to legal representation, that the citizen is not being discriminated against on the grounds of nationality, and that the host authorities are fulfilling their responsibilities in ensuring the welfare and wellbeing of our detained citizen.

"In this context my officials are in ongoing contact with the Brazilian authorities.

"The Department cannot however provide legal advice or interfere in any way in the judicial processes in another country.

"I have agreed to meet with the Hickey family and arrangements will be made for this meeting to take place in the coming days. In the meantime, my Department is continuing to monitor developments in this consular case closely and is continuing to provide all appropriate consular advice and assistance to Mr. Hickey and his family."

Earlier: The Hickey family has released a statement calling for Government intervention into Mr Hickey's arrest and detention without charge in Rio de Janerio.

In the statement released by a solicitor acting for the family, the Hickey family are said to be "extremely concerned" about a number of aspects of Mr Hickeys situation, including the manner in which he was arrested and his detention at a high security prison without charge.

The family are also said to be concerned about the effects of the detention on Pat Hickey's health.

Minister Flanagan agrees to meet 'extremely concerned' Hickey family

As well as this the Hickey's are concerned about "The pre-trial disclosure of what is purported to be evidence to the media without any right of reply" as well as "Pat Hickey's right to a fair hearing, given the prejudicial way in which he has been treated to date."

The family are requesting an urgent meeting with Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan TD and Minister for Sport Shane Ross TD.

They also wish to make contact with the Brazilian ambassador, Alfonso José Cardoso to highlight their concerns and hope to meet Mr Kenny when he returns from holidays.

Minister Flanagan agrees to meet 'extremely concerned' Hickey family

The statement went on: “The family is also calling upon Minister Flanagan to immediately issue a statement setting out the steps the Department of Foreign Affairs is taking to object to the manner in which an elderly Irish citizen was arrested and is still being detained in Brazil.

“It was entirely inappropriate and unacceptable for a 71-year-old Irish citizen be taken from his bedroom, arrested and walked in a state of undress before a pre-arranged camera crew, after which film and still shots were released to the global media.”

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