A LETTERKENNY man working in Scotland, who hoped to return home for Christmas, says he was ‘gutted’ when he heard about this week’s travel ban between Ireland and the UK.
Mickey McCarron had been looking forward to seeing his parents Tony and Rosie and family members in the Oldtown. It’s the first time in twenty years that’s he had to spend the holiday period outside Donegal.
“It’s particularly tough this year as mum and dad haven’t been that well. They’ve both undergone major surgery which makes it all the more difficult. I managed to get over for a flying visit earlier in the year but I was really looking forward to spending some time with them at Christmas,” he said.
A ban on flights and passenger ferries from Britain has been implemented in response to the rapid spread of a new strain of Covid-19 in parts of England.
The mutation – known as VUI-202012/01 – is said to be up to 70% more infectious than the original strain because it has a much bigger viral load.
Cases of the new strain have been spreading rapidly in the UK, and have led to a travel ban from several other countries – including Ireland.
“I understand why the ban has been put in place and, ultimately, I don’t want to do anything that might harm my mum and dad but I must admit I was gutted to hear that news this week. It’s a time of year when I always look forward to getting home,” he said.
Mickey’s son Christopher (33), from a previous relationship, still lives in Letterkenny and he was due home with his wife Laura and son Aidan who is nine.
“We were planning to come home between Christmas and the New Year but that’s been knocked on the head,” he said.
Mickey (53), who works as a ground worker on the building sites, says he will now make the most of Christmas at his Clydebank home.
“Hopefully this will soon be over, we’ll all be able to get the vaccine, life can get back to normal and I’ll get home to see mum, dad and the rest of the family early in 2021,” he said.