Mother of Tyrone man stranded in Zambia pleads for help

Tyrone man John Doran pictured with his mother Marian Doran and girlfriend Aisling McKenna
Connla Young

THE family of Co Tyrone man who suffers from asthma has pleaded with the Irish government for help after he was stranded in Zambia because of the the Covid-19 crisis.

John Doran (34), from Galbally near Dungannon, made the trip to Africa with his girlfriend Aisling McKenna (30), from Clogher, last month.

The couple, who were carrying out charity work, were due to return home on March 22 but their flight was cancelled.

Despite frantic efforts to get home the pair have been unable to leave Zambia and have been running out of cash.

It is understood they have been in contact with both Irish and British authorities.

Mr Doran's mother Marian said she is worried for their safety.

“As I stand here today, not only as a concerned mother, but as a carer working on the frontline during the crisis that our country is facing, I can't help but fear for the life of my son and his girlfriend."

She said her son is at risk because of his asthma.

“They have been fortunate to receive unbelievable hospitality from the SMA Fathers in Zambia.

"However, with my son's underlying health condition I can't help but look at the risk he faces as he is now high risk during a pandemic in a country where healthcare is questionable and their health insurance is failing them by not responding.”

The mother-of-three pleaded with the Irish government to intervene.

"I'm reaching out to the Irish government in anyway that I can, please help me get my loved ones home,” she said.

“I'm doing my part as a carer, please do yours. Sooner rather than later while they still have their health."

Independent Mid Ulster councillor Dan Kerr has been helping the family.

“I think the Department of Foreign Affairs should do more to get Irish people stuck abroad home,” he said.

“It's not their fault they are stuck in that situation.

“We should be doing everything in the interests of their safety so they can be back home safe and with their families."

The Department of Foreign Affairs was contacted for comment.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access