Father set for tearful reunion after 15 months in Spain

Father set for tearful reunion after 15 months in Spain
Noel Barr outside George Best Belfast City Airport (Liam McBurney/PA)

A Derry father has spoken of expecting a tearful family reunion after 15 months in Spain.

Musician Noel Barr was also looking forward to playing gigs in his home city after becoming one of the first travellers to arrive in Northern Ireland after isolating was scrapped for the fully vaccinated.

Mr Barr flew into Belfast City Airport on Monday as fully vaccinated travellers from the US and EU amber countries were able to enter without the need to quarantine.

He described the airport as being “a little emptier than usual” and how there had been only 10 people on his flight.

Noel Barr originally from Derry City, who has been living and working in Spain outside George Best Belfast City Airport (Liam McBurney/PA)

He has been living in Cordoba in Spain and explained how several trips home had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I was supposed to come back at the start of July and then before that Easter, before that Christmas and I couldn’t go,” he said.

“I got vaccinated in Spain which was a relief and that allowed me to be more confident to travel, and then when I heard that you don’t have to isolate and I have my Covid passport, it just made everything a lot easier so I thought now is the chance to come back.

Air passengers with luggage walking towards the car park after leaving George Best Belfast City Airport (Liam McBurney/PA)

“My flight had 10 people on it, so that was unusual, but everything was straight forward enough once you upload everything on to your phone.

“I’m happy to be back, it’s my first time back in 15 months, I’m looking forward to seeing family and friends.

“My daughter is coming up from Belfast to see me, I think there will be a few tears shed.

“And I’m playing gigs this weekend in Derry so I’m looking forward to that as well.

“It’s great to see the music scene in Northern Ireland opening up as well.”

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