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Chinese Embassy Arranges Deceased Student's Parents Return to China
2005-07-23

On Friday, 22 July 2005, officials from the Chinese Embassy in Ireland accompanied Mr. Song Zhi's parents to Dublin Airport and saw them off back to China. Mr. Song Zhi, a young man from Dalian, China was killed in Dublin on 29 June after he was stabbed by a burglar. The returned tickets for Song's parents were made available through the effects of the Embassy, after talks with the Government of Dalian, which raised funds for the trip. The remains of Mr. Song Zhi was repatriated to China on the same day with the support of Irish Government.

Mr. Song Zhi came to Ireland to study English three years ago. When the news of a Chinese man died on 29 June came out, the Embassy made inquiries to garda stations near the deceased house. With the passport information of Mr. Song Zhi supplied by gardie the Embassy asked the Chinese local passport unit to provide the contact details of Song's parents. The contact details were quickly passed to gardie for them to formally notify Song's parents about the sad news.

Learning form past experience that a deceased family could not arrange accommodation in Ireland at short notice, the Embassy discussed with Chinese business community in Dublin to arrange accommodation. A house was offered by a Chinese Irish businessperson and was ready for a short stay on July 3. But later when Song's parents came to Dublin, they preferred to stay at accommodation provided by the gardie.

On Monday, July 4, a representative of the Embassy met Song's parents and relatives at Dublin Airport to express condolences. Ambassador Sha Hailin called on the parents to express sympathy. Embassy officials also gave some consoling by explaining differences between China and Ireland in law and practice, such as postmortem carried out without family consent.

At request of Song's parents, the Embassy contacted the concerned Irish Departments. A meeting between officials of Department of Justice and Song's parents was held. At the meeting song's parents put forward several demands, including compensation from Irish state (as they think their son was killed by an Irish), repatriation of their son's body to Dalian, punishment of the criminal without mercy, coverage of family expense while their stay in Ireland and returned air tickets.

It is not easy to meet those demands, as governments' spending normally does not have the fund ready for the demands. In order to speed up the funeral affairs, the Embassy discussed the situation with the Government of Dalian and got positive response on Friday, July 8. The Government of Dalian raised fund for 4 returned air tickets, with the major support from Dalian Port Authority, under which song's father worked in one of the small company. The Government of Dalian would also give fund for cremation in Dublin if the family wishes, since cremation saves farmland in China.

As Song's parents left Ireland, the funeral affairs come to a satisfactory end. The Embassy wishes to thank the Irish Government, Irish people, and Chinese community in Ireland for the sympathy and help offered to Song's family.

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