Visa row wife of Glentoran boss home for Christmas
The wife of Glentoran Football Club manager Mick McDermott has sent a huge thank-you to everyone who helped her get home to her family in time for Christmas.
Karla McDermott is now looking forward to a wonderful festive season with husband Mick and their four children after successfully appealing a Home Office decision to deny her a visa to live in Northern Ireland.
Earlier this year, Mrs McDermott (43) had been forced to live 4,000 miles away form her family in Dubai awaiting the decision as the couple tried to set up home in Newtownabbey.
"I'm just so thankful to be with my family in time for the holidays," a delighted Karla - who was born in California and holds a US passport - said last night.
"And I'm very thankful for all the support we received from everyone to make sure I got home."
Glentoran manager Mick McDermott said he had been left in a nightmare situation when his wife of 23 years had been forced to leave the country, then had her visa application rejected.
"I was taking the kids to school in the morning and then I was at The Oval most of the day and at training at night," he said.
Mick (45), appointed as manager at Glentoran FC in March this year, said Karla has always been the glue that held the family together as they travelled around the world following his football career.
"The pressure was falling on my sisters and mother. They were doing everything, feeding the kids, picking them up for this and that, dropping them off at rugby and doing a lot.
"After about a month I realised things weren't great with the kids. It was a nightmare but it is all back to normal now. My wife is here with her card and she can get a job.
"Karla is overjoyed. It's great for all of our family. Apart from being cold all the time with the weather here, she is pleased to be back, especially for Christmas."