Mother of Irish man diagnosed with brain cancer in Australia granted travel exemption

By Laura Colgan

The mother of an Irish man diagnosed with brain cancer has been granted a travel exemption to visit him in Australia.

Shane McGeough (38), who is originally from Kells, Co Meath, and now lives in Adelaide, was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer last month and is undergoing six weeks of treatment.

His mother Cathy has been unable to travel to see him due to strict Covid-19 measures in place in Australia.

Cathy has now been granted a travel exemption to visit him in Australia - but she is now concerned that she will be unable to secure flights or a mandatory hotel quarantine space.

Australia closed its borders last year due to the Covid-19 crisis and people may only enter if they have been granted a travel exemption.

Exemptions are being granted to people travelling for compassionate and compelling reasons, such as needing to travel due to the death or critical illness of a close family member.

Shane's mother is concerned that she will not be able to enter Australia despite being granted a travel exemption due to limited availability on flights and lack of quarantine space (GoFundMe)

The majority of incoming travellers have to undergo a 14-day quarantine period at a cost of AUS$2,500.

Cathy is now concerned that she will not be able to enter Australia despite being granted a travel exemption due to limited availability on flights and lack of quarantine space.

Cathy's niece Serena Gavin said that flights and mandatory hotel quarantine arrangements still have to be arranged.

Speaking on RTE Radio One's Today with Claire Byrne, she said: "Overnight, Cathy got word, got an email from the Home Office in Australia to say that her travel exemption has been approved.

“It’s an extra step closer, every time we get one of these little steps it’s great for us.

"Now it’s on to the flights. There is a problem with quarantine space, so that’s something that we will have to look into as well when we’re looking up flights.

“It's all alien to us as well and we’re learning every day from this.

Serena also said that Shane hopes to return to Ireland after six weeks of treatment.

She said: "The treatment is quite quick every day, it’s a 15-minute procedure every day of radium, and his chemo is by tablet, so he’s able to take that from home.

"He’ll be in the hospital five days a week for six weeks.”

Australian Ambassador to Ireland Gary Gray said there are 40,000 people currently waiting to gain access to the country.

He said the application process for entry usually takes around three weeks and that compassionate applications, such as that of the McGeough family, are being carefully considered.


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