Belfast Telegraph

'It's pathetic': Glentoran boss Mick McDermott blasts Home Office bureaucracy after wife Karla's drawn out via application

Karla McDermott with her husband Mick (Belfast Live)
Karla McDermott with her husband Mick (Belfast Live)

By Gareth McCullough

Glentoran manager Mick McDermott has hit out at the 'pathetic' situation that left his wife in a visa limbo in recent weeks.

Karla is now finally be able to return to her husband and four children in Northern Ireland after having to spend the last two months overseas while waiting for her Home Office visa request to be processed. Her application was initially turned down before government officials admitted making an error.

After his team's 4-0 win at Warrenpoint on Saturday, McDermott was forthcoming when asked how the previous few days had been.

"It's satisfying that it's done and we've got the decision, but really frustrating with how it's been handled by our government officials that are supposed to serve us," he said.

"It's pathetic and I'm not just talking about our family. There are thousands of families awaiting decisions just like we were. Thankfully, I can use this platform of my position as a football coach to speak for the people who are maybe sitting in the darkness wondering what to do next.

"It creates an environment where people are maybe reluctant to do it the legal way. In this day and age, we're talking about illegal immigration and poor people being found in the back of trucks and immigration is at the forefront of everyone's thoughts at the minute.

"If the Home Office are creating an environment where the legal process is so expensive and difficult and there's a chance of being rejected because of a paperwork issue on their part, why would you do it?

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"There's a sense of relief, especially for Karla. For them to turn it around in 24 hours, we're thankful for that. At least they acknowledged that they did make an error and reversed it in 24 hours, which is sort of unheard of. They said it was an appeals process. We didn't appeal. They called me and said they had made an error and that they were reversing the decision.

"That's the way officialdom works unfortunately. There are faces on the other end of those applications and they need to think about that."

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