19 Aug 2022

Kildare man stranded in New Zealand appeals for help from government

Local man 'stranded' in New Zealand appeals for help from government

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A local man trying to return to Ireland from New Zealand has appealed to the Irish government for help after a series of cancelled flights. 

Hundreds of people are effectively stranded in Australia and New Zealand as flights out of both countries are cancelled in huge numbers. They include Gary Kelly, from Broadford, Co Kildare, not far from Edenderry in Offaly where he attended school. 

Gary had booked flights from Christchurch to Dublin only to discover they have now been cancelled as the country tightens travel restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

His flights have been cancelled with no option for a new flight. The news comes as further restrictions on airspace come into force in New Zealand on Wednesday.

Gary and his girlfriend have prepared to come home to Ireland and have given up their lease from this Thursday. They now say they have nowhere to turn and are trying to shed light on their situation and that of others on social media.

"The embassy is telling people to speak to airlines; airlines saying to speak to embassies. It seems to be nobody’s job to help people get home," he said.

"Some citizens have ended leases and are going to be left with nowhere to turn? I myself have my lease ending Thursday and nowhere to go. I spent the last of my money on a flight only for it to be cancelled. Nobody is willing to step up and help. Help Irish people get home," he pleaded.

New Zealand is planning to go into a total lockdown later this week. 

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