Ibrahim Halawa due to arrive back in Ireland today

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Ibrahim Halawa is due to arrive back in Dublin airport at 11.05 this morning after spending four years in an Egyptian prison.

The 21-year-old Firhouse native was acquitted last month of all charges relating to mass protests in Cairo in 2013.

He was only released however from custody on Thursday night and then had to obtain the correct documentation to allow him to leave Egypt.

Mr Halawa posted a photo of himself on board a plane on his Facebook page, accompanied by his sister Nasaybi and Ambassador to Egypt Sean O’Regan.

He wrote: “Finally on my way home 🙂 thank you to everyone who has caused this moment I love you all so much 🙂 looking forward to finally coming home 🙂 I will arrive Dublin at 11! #home #ireland #dublin #life #freedom #thankyou #happy #irish.”

On Friday, the family’s lawyer Darragh Mackin said Mr Halawa had spent four years of his life “in the most difficult and cruel conditions”.

“Given the fact he’s now free, and is to be reunited with his family, friends and education in Ireland, he is absolutely delighted,” he added.

“I think that’s putting it mildly.”

Mr Halawa protested against his detention with a series of hunger strikes, and at one stage his family said he became so weak he was using a wheelchair.