A plane carrying over 130 Irish citizens being repatriated from Peru has touched down in Dublin Airport.
The British Airways flight from Lima landed at London's Heathrow Airport this morning and a connecting flight to Dublin arrived at around 2.30pm.
Peru closed its borders two weeks ago and diplomatic approval had been given from the authorities to allow the Irish citizens to be rescued.
The country declared a state of emergency two weeks ago over the coronavirus pandemic and it closed its borders leaving foreign tourists stuck in hotels, hostels and Airbnbs.
Over 100 Irish citizens returned home today after being stranded in Peru. One of them is Róisín O’Rourke from Cavan.
Separately Maureen Daly, from Dublin, waited for her daughter to come through the gates. pic.twitter.com/kNCb19b4GC
— NewstalkFM (@NewstalkFM) March 30, 2020
Liz Canavan, assistant secretary at the Department of the Taoiseach, thanked the Peruvian authorities for their help.
She said: "Our embassy arranged for the transfer by road of many of our citizens from remote parts of Peru to the airport in Lima, journeys in some cases which took 24 hours.
"The Tánaiste spoke with Peru's Foreign Minister on Thursday, March 26th, and Ireland is very grateful to the Peruvian authorities for facilitating the departure of our citizens."
Andrew Garrigan, an Irish resident with a British passport who has been living here for 18 years, was among those on board.
He was worried he wouldn't be allowed on the flight but eventually was told he had a seat.
He said: "Happy, happy, happy to be getting home, so grateful to the people who have helped.
"Very grateful, very happy, still a little shocked and definitely a little tired."
A small number of Irish citizens are still in Peru and the government says it is in ongoing contact with them and continues to provide consular assistance.
Reporting by Kim Buckley