Limerick girls stranded in Australia appeal to Irish Government

Donal O'Regan

Reporter:

Donal O'Regan

Email:

donal.oregan@limerickleader.ie

Limerick girls stranded in Australia appeal to Irish Government

Stranded: Aimee Landers, Murroe, and Áine Ryan, Corbally

TWO Limerick girls remain stranded in Australia this Monday night after their flights were cancelled.

Aimee Landers, aged 27, from Murroe, and Áine Ryan, aged 26, from Corbally - along with many other young Irish people - are desperately trying to get home. 

Aimee said distraught Irish passengers in Perth Airport had to break the sad news to their loved ones earlier this Monday that, "We were unable to get flights". She appeals to the Irish Government to help get Irish people home.

Aimee and Áine flew out to Westerm Australia in January and were excited for their big adventure Down Under. In February, they got jobs in the hair and beauty industry. 

"As the spread of the coronavirus started to hit Australia it became apparent that, like many Irish people over here, our jobs were now in jeopardy. Last Thursday, we got the bad news and we worked our last shift on Saturday.

"Unfortunately as we are not citizens of this country and we are here on a working holiday visa we, like many Irish, are entitled to nothing," Aimee told the Limerick Leader this Monday evening.

The second Aimee and Áine heard their jobs were at risk they began looking into getting flights home. 

"Although it had been in the back of our minds as we heard about how serious things were getting in Ireland. Family is everything at the end of the day and in this scary, unprecedented time it's very difficult to be so far away from home," said Aimee.

They booked flights with Emirates last Thursday, March 19 to depart from Perth Airport tomorrow - Tuesday, March 24. 

"We met our first hurdle on Sunday evening when Emirates announced they would be suspending all flights from Wednesday, March 25. 

"Unfortunately this resulted in our Dubai to Dublin flight being cancelled. We organised another flight with British Airways for Dubai and rushed to the airport tonight (Monday evening in Australia) to see if we could get out earlier.

"At the airport it became quite apparent that there were many Irish, of all ages, in the same boat praying, hoping and begging the airlines for help," said Aimee. 

A lot of tears were shed by Irish people in Perth Airport as "distraught passengers had to break the sad news to their loved ones that we were unable to get flights and with no indication as to when we will ever get home".

On behalf of herself and "the countless Irish citizens stranded in Australia", Aimee appeals to the Irish Government to "please help us return home to our loved ones". 

"These are worrying and scary times that no one could have possibly predicted. But now we need to stay united and get through them together with our families by our side.

"I have no doubt our country can and will pull through this. Ireland is home and right now home is where we need to be," said Aimee.

The best friends have returned to their rented accommodation but now have the added worry of paying rent with no income.