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'Traumatic' Mother of seriously ill man in Australia is granted travel exemption to fly there after 'long battle'

"The important thing is now we know she can get to Shane."

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Shane, who will be thirty eight later this week, lives with his partner Michelle Farrell and their daughter Harlow,

Shane, who will be thirty eight later this week, lives with his partner Michelle Farrell and their daughter Harlow,

Shane, who will be thirty eight later this week, lives with his partner Michelle Farrell and their daughter Harlow,

The heartbroken mother of an Irishman battling brain cancer in Adelaide, Australia has finally been granted a travel exemption which allows her to enter the country so she can be with her seriously ill son. 

Cathy McGeough and her niece Serena Gavin, from Kells in County Meath, appeared on RTE's Claire Byrne Live on Monday night alongside the Australian ambassador to Ireland, Gary Gray and revealed the devastating news that Cathy's son Shane has between 15 months and three years left to live.

Serena told Sundayworld.com: "When we left the house at eight o clock the status of Cathy's application was 'under consideration', when we arrived home at 1am it had been approved.

"I still haven't a clue whether the ambassador intervened or not but I do know I have called the Australian embassy here dozens of times before Monday's television appearance and all I ever got was a voicemail telling me to call their home affairs office in Australia.

"At the moment we are trying to establish whether or not Cathy has to quarantine and, if so, for how long and where.

"She may have to fly into one part of Australia to quarantine and then when she arrives in Adelaide quarantine again, but the important thing is now, we know she can get to Shane."

Shane, who will be thirty eight years old later this week, lives with his partner Michelle Farrell and their daughter Harlow, and initially Michelle's mother Mary was due to travel with Cathy but her application for a travel exemption has been refused.

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Cathy McGeough with her son Shane

Cathy McGeough with her son Shane

Cathy McGeough with her son Shane

Serena said, "We don't know why and we are trying to see is there a mechanism to appeal that decision, but our main focus now is to book a seat so Cathy can get over.

"If we can appeal it then Mary will follow her over.

"We have been working with a travel agent in London and so far the best price he can manage is £7,000.

"Apparently only cargo flights are being allowed in and they have space for a few passengers but charge business class rates."

The family first got the news of Shane's illness three weeks ago and only last weekend were they told that the prognosis was bad.

Serena revealed: "That's been the worst part so far, I mean I am very close to Cathy and yet I can't begin to imagine how traumatic all this has been for her.

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"Try and place yourself in her shoes, her son is seriously ill, she wants to be there even to just give him a hug and red tape had been blocking her.

"Monday was difficult, a lot of tears were shed, I did all my crying before we left for RTE as I knew Cathy was very nervous about doing the show and that I had to be strong for her.

"We are trying hard to look on the positive side which is she will soon be with Shane but it has been a hell of a long battle to reach this point.

'It seemed that just when we got over one hurdle another bigger one appeared but al last it looks like its all systems go.'


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