Mac Sharry thanks Dept. officials’ helping to swiftly repatriate much-needed healthcare workers and Doctors from Australia

Published on: 24 March 2020

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport Marc Mac Sharry TD has thanked the Department of Transport Secretary General Graham Doyle, Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary General Niall Burgess and their teams, and  Ambassador Breandán Ó Caollaí and staff in the Irish Embassy in Canberra for their assistance in organising the return of more than 80 Irish Doctors from Australia to Ireland.

After a period of self-isolation, these Doctors will join Ireland’s frontline health service to seek to control and manage the ongoing Covid-19 public health emergency.  

Deputy MacSharry said, “I would like to express my most heartfelt gratitude to Graham and his team in the Department of Transport as well as the Secretary General and officials in the Department of Foreign Affairs for their swift and professional response to this issue.

“I was made aware of this issue by my own niece, who has been working as a Doctor in Perth, Australia. My niece and some of her colleagues wished to return to Ireland to assist efforts here but were unable to find flights that would bring them back following extensive cancellations.

“I contacted the Secretary General in the Department of Transport on Sunday who worked closely with the Department of Foreign Affairs, including the Ambassador and staff at the Irish embassy in Canberra to organise a flight home for them. My niece made her colleagues and friends aware of this possibility. Thanks to the hard work of these Departments, over 80 Doctors will be able to board a flight arriving into London later this week. After a necessary period of self-isolation, these Doctors will join Ireland’s health service in its battle against coronavirus.

“More than 60,000 people have answered the HSE’s campaign to “Be on Call for Ireland”, many of whom are likely living and working abroad at the moment. For anyone in that position who is struggling to make their way home, I would encourage them to make contact with the Department of Foreign Affairs either through their local Irish Embassy or Consulate or by calling the Consular Assistance Unit at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Dublin on +353 1 408 2000,” concluded Deputy Mac Sharry.

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