Ibrahim Halawa writes letter to Leo Varadkar telling him of his new found hope

Ibrahim Halawa, the Firhouse man whose trial in Egypt has been delayed 24 times, has written to Leo Varadkar saying the Taoiseach’s mixed-race ethnicity gives him new hope he will be freed.

21 year old Halawa, who was 17 when he was arrested in Cairo in 2013, said in a letter sent from his jail cell he also hoped to one day become Taoiseach just like Mr Varadkar.

Last month his trial was adjourned for the 24th time, this time until July 4.

The letter has been released by his sister Somaia and in it Ibrahim says for the past four years he has been “wrestling with hope against fate”.

“Sometimes I was disappointed and sometimes I was optimistic.

“As time is my worst enemy in prison I have entered a dark tunnel, but hope tends to plant a light pole every now and then.

“Four years of torture, suffering and pain is all I have seen at a very young age.”

Mr Halawa also said the lack of progress made by previous Taoiseach Enda Kenny left him deeply frustrated and Mr Varadkar’s appointment has made him so hopeful he has decided to come off his hunger strike.

“I have gotten so frustrated complaining about the former Taoiseach needing to do more, until I lost hope.”

“In my dark tunnel I have finally seen the light at the end; it is you, An Taoiseach, waiting on the other side of the tunnel.

“You have not only given me hope to be released soon, but you have given me hope as I know you would understand how much I love my home despite being from a foreign background.”

“You have given me hope that maybe one day I can lead my country and become Taoiseach to repay all my people for standing by me at this hard time.

“Therefore I decided to hold my hunger strike as you have not only revived hope for me but also the feeling of safety, a feeling that needed to be restored to every Irish citizen.”

“It is not only me who has hope in you, but also my family, the Irish people my friends.

“As one quoted in a letter to me: ‘Hopefully Leo’s heart bleeds for you more than Enda’s did, and that will be his fuel to get you home’.

“I hope to see you soon. Irish Citizen, Ibrahim Halawa.”