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Sunday 22 September 2019

Cork man Mark Lane 'thrilled' after wife and daughter granted visa to move to Ireland from the Philippines amid safety concerns

Mark Lane with his wife Marjo and daughter Erin
Mark Lane with his wife Marjo and daughter Erin
Mark Lane has already decorated his daughter's room in Cork
Mark Lane's daughter Erin

Evie Kearney

Cork man Mark Lane's wife and daughter will join him in Ireland within weeks after their visa was approved following concerns for their safety in the Philippines.

Mr Lane had been pleading with Irish authorities for his wife, Marjo, to be granted an urgent spousal visa under the exceptional circumstances that included his family living in an earthquake zone with no running water in the Philippines.

The visa process was originally expected to take six months, but Mr Lane received a call this week from the office of the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney to tell him his wife's passport will now be issued in a matter of days.

"I can’t believe how much of a relief and how happy I am compared to yesterday. It’s unbelievable," he told Independent.ie.

"I was just praying it would come soon. In the back of my mind I was thinking before Christmas at best but then was so soon so it was fantastic news."

Mr Lane will now fly to the Philippines where the young family will celebrate daughter Erin's first birthday on September 8 before returning together to their new home in Carrigaline, Cork.

He has not been able to see his family in nine months after being advised to return to Ireland alone to begin building a life for his new family, including finding a permanent residence which he has since decorated in preparation for their arrival.

He said he expects Marjo and Erin, who have never been to Ireland or met his family, to be overwhelmed by the move.

"I’m just looking forward to spending the night with them again. I’m looking forward to being here at home together," he said.

"I’m here since April coming home to an empty house every night. I just want to make them happy and keep them safe. I just want them here already so I can spoil them."

Mr Lane met his wife online and the two talked for six months before he decided to fly to meet her for a two week holiday.

"I couldn’t believe it because I would never do anything like that, I didn’t even dream about meeting someone so far but we clicked straight away," he said.

"I took the gamble and went over for a two week holiday and we fell in love. I knew straight away I wanted to marry her."

After the visit, the pair spent nine more months talking through Skype before Mr Lane decided to take a year of leave from his job to join her in the Philipines.

They got married in December 2017 and one week later they found out they were expecting their first child.

Mr Lane put pressure on authorities this month after fearing his daughter contracted pneumonia that was initially feared to be Dengue fever -  a mosquito-borne diseased that has claimed the lives of 622 people in the Philippines since January.

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