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Dublin: 3 °C Monday 17 February, 2020

Irish men held on Gaza ship freed

The two men have been freed by Greek authorities and allowed to leave the country.

Ken O'Keefe, one of the men on board
Ken O'Keefe, one of the men on board

TWO IRISH NATIONALS who were being detained in Greece on a ship which was supposed to bring them to Gaza have been released.

The men were part of a group of aid workers who were due to travel to Gaza with humanitarian aid from the Libyan port of Derna last week. However – after aid workers had begun to load supplies onto the vessel – an argument reportedly broke out with the ship’s captain.

The captain then broke the ship’s moorings and sped towards Greece, with 10 aid workers still on board.

Six Irish nationals and dozens of other volunteers were abandoned in Libya.

Irish filmmaker David Callander, 35, was one of the men detained in Greece. He told reporters that he and the other volunteers had been brought to Greece against their will and had little access to food or water when on board the boat.

The other Irish national Ken O’Keefe was also on board the Mavi Marmara – part of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla – last May. Nine men were killed when Israeli commandos stormed the vessel, which was heading to Gaza with humanitarian aid. O’Keefe was injured in the attack.

A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs said that they had issued Callander and O’Keefe with emergency travel documents and were continuing to provide consular assistance.

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