Frenchpark man and young family stranded in Vietnam

A Frenchpark man and his young family are unable to leave Vietnam as his recently born daughter does not have the correct documents. James Burke (25) has appealed to the Department of Affairs to provide emergency, temporary documentation.

Speaking to the Roscommon People this week, James, who had been working as an English teacher in Ho Chi Minh City, says the Vietnamese Government have introduced a strict Covid lockdown in response to a recent increase in cases.

“It’s called Directive 16 and people were only supposed to leave their homes once a week for shopping. Starting this week, nobody will be allowed to leave their homes at all for a period of 14 days,” he said.

James lives with his fiancé Meghan, who hails from the United States and their young daughter, Claire, who was born in Vietnam last March.

“I have only left the house once since June for the AstraZeneca vaccine while Meghan has only to get her passport renewed. Both of those trips were quite close to our house.

“My biggest fear is that we will run out of water and that we will be down to boiling the kettle,” he said.

  The mental and physical toll has been exhausting, James says, and the young family now faces an anxious wait over the next few weeks for restrictions to be lifted in Vietnam.

Friends of the couple have recently set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds in order to help with relocation costs for the young family.

So far, over €2,000 have been raised in order to help the family relocate to Ireland. Donations can be made at