LISTOWEL businessman Bill Fawaz is getting great support from friends in the town in his continuing struggle to get his elderly parents out of war-torn Syria before the shells start falling on their Damascus home.
It's the support from the Government of his adopted country, however, that he finds deeply wanting.
Nearly a year since Bill first asked the Irish government to help save his parents from the brutal conflict by issuing them with Irish visas, he has heard nothing positive from the authorities here.
The Government has simply washed its hands of the request, he believes.
"It is heartbreaking for me to see what has happened my country, and I am getting very worried for my family's future. The fighting in Damascus is getting closer to my parents' home every day and I just want to get them out of there now. They are way too old for refugee camps and all I want is for the Irish government to help us in this plea," he told The Kerryman.
His brother and sister now live with his parents as his sister's house in another part of the capital was blasted into rubble in the war, which has already claimed 130,000 lives.
Bill, who owns the All Regions Computer Centre on Church Street, first wrote to Taioseach Enda Kenny on the matter last April. "He told me to contact Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore who told me to contact Justice Minister Alan Shatter, who said there was nothing he could do. It feels almost hopeless and I'm just highlighting it now in the chance something positive might come of it," he said.
He is not hopeful of any major break-through in talks in Geneva at present between the Syrian Government and the Rebels.