Christmas became even more special this year for one Cashel family when they were brought together in a surprise reunion, live on television.
Like many Irish families, the O’Meara family have said goodbye to family members as they have travelled long distances to find work and new lives. For many it’s not possible to make it home to Ireland for Christmas, and it’s a time when they miss their families most.
This was almost the case for the O’Mearas until Supermac’s and the Ryan Tubridy radio show stepped in.
Sinead O’Meara left Cashel four years ago when she couldn’t find work in Ireland. She is now married and living in Perth, Western Australia, with her husband Sean Kennedy and their one-year-old daughter Mia, who was born there.
Little Mia had never been ‘home’ to Cashel and her granny Tessie had never met her.
Sinead herself had not met her two-year-old niece Ava, at home in Ireland.
But that all changed on the last Friday night before Christmas when Ryan Tubridy surprised four families with the loved ones that had been flown home in secret, thanks to Supermac’s ‘Bring Them Home’ campaign.
Tessie and Sinead’s sisters Elaine and Teresa were in the RTE studios that night where Ryan Tubridy heralded the surprise arrival of the Australian branch of the family, to much excitement and happy tears.
Sinead, whose family is from Oliver Plunkett Park, now spends her time in Australia working, studying and taking care of Mia without the support of her family. Her difficult decision to move was made four years ago when she couldn’t get work in Ireland.
Four families, who entered the nationwide competition to have their overseas relatives and friends flown home for Christmas, were stunned and delighted to be reunited with their loved ones in an emotional and surprising live reveal on the last Late Late Show before Christmas.
Supermac’s have flown 23 people home from around the world to enjoy the festive season with their loved ones, reuniting 12 families throughout the country.
Over the past five weeks, listeners to Tubridy on RTÉ 2fm have heard countless heartbreaking stories of emigration from entrants desperate to be with those closest to them at Christmas, only to find that Supermac’s was making that dream a reality for them. Supermac’s have brought home people from as far away as Perth, New York, Queensland, Chicago, Toronto and Melbourne.
On the TV show Ryan Tubridy heard how desperately four families missed their loved ones and the milestones they were missing while living away.
Hurricane Sandy victims Aideen and Peter Duignan as well as their four sons were brought together with Aideen’s family from Mohill on the show who were thrilled to see them following their traumatic experience at the hands of the natural disaster.
David Dooley from Tallaght moved to Queensland in April of this year to get work in order to retain the family home. In doing so he had to leave his wife, two children and grandchild behind. Their reunion was incredibly emotional and the intial meeting greeted with disbelief.
Sarah Dunne from Rathfarnam was reunited with her mother and brother on the show. Currently living in Sydney and gone for the last three years, she desperately missed her family and her grandmother who turned 96 in October.
Speaking of the momentous television moment Ryan said “I’m delighted to have been part of this fantastic campaign with Supermac’s. Supermac’s have brought so many families together through Tubridy and The Late Late Show.
“It’s truly heartwarming to see their reactions to this and the joy that it has given to them.”