A Trinity College student and Falun Gong practitioner who has been imprisoned in a Chinese labour camp for more than two years will be freed this March, according to the Department for Foreign Affairs.
A spokesman for the department said the Chinese authorities agreed to release Zhao Ming during minister Brian Cowen’s trip to the country this week.
Zhao was studying computer sciences in Dublin when he was arrested during a visit to China at christmas 1999.
The Chinese government says Falun Gong is a "terrorist" cult responsible for the deaths of more than 1,600 of its followers.
However, it agreed to release Mr Zhao because he has been sufficiently "re-educated".
Zhao’s supporters in Ireland have accused the Chinese authorities of torturing him in various prison camps.
They said the 30-year-old student was forced to undergo "brain-washing" sessions and forced to stand still for up to 18 hours a day.
They also said he was tortured into signing statements denouncing Falun Gong.
Both the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, and President Mary McAleese raised the case with Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji during his controversial visit to Ireland last year.
The Chinese authorities have now apparently agreed to release Zhao on March 12 and have told the Irish Government that he will be free to apply to return to Ireland to continue his studies.
The Chinese have insisted he was not ill-treated during his detention.