Carol Nolan, Independent TD for Laois/Offaly, has said that she is receiving a significant increase in calls from Irish people stranded abroad due to Covid-19 related travel disruption.
Deputy Nolan went on to say that she has also been contacted by an ICU nurse whose partner is a medical professional from Tullamore; both of whom are currently unable to access flights from Australia due to the cancellation of outgoing travel or the extremely high cost of purchasing available tickets-ranging from €6000-€10,000.
“I accept that The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is working with our Embassies and Consulates throughout the world to co-ordinate a major operation to bring home stranded Irish citizens. That is very welcome.
"However, from what I am hearing, those Irish who are trying to access information from our Embassies are receiving very confusing messages about how this is translating into action on the ground.
"We also need to ensure that our citizens can actually get to the Airport if public travel in affected areas is curtailed or prohibited.
"What is deeply concerning to me is the number of cases I am receiving from people who have left employment and given up their accommodation to return to take up the national struggle against this virus.
"Those people are in a very precarious situation because they may not even be able to rely on staying with friends due to physical distancing precautions.
"Some of them can only get home if they pay upwards of 23,000 dollars. That is simply not realistic for the vast majority of people who went abroad on travel or work visas.
"I want to commend the Department and our international staff-but we really need to take escalated action around chartered flights and travel plans as a matter of urgency,” concluded Deputy Nolan.