A Dublin man who has been diagnosed with motor neurone disease has spoken of his relief after his partner was granted a visa to come to Ireland.
Andy Chambers has — with the help of family and friends — spent months trying to get his partner of almost six years, Sian, a visa so they could be together during Andy's final months.
The couple met while Andy was travelling in Laos in 2017 and have been in a long-distance relationship since.
Although Andy was only diagnosed in October 2022, his condition has deteriorated rapidly, and he said it is unlikely he will see out the end of this year.
Andy has had to face his prognosis and worsening symptoms without Sian by his side, relying on video calls and texts to communicate.
On Wednesday morning, Andy was able to call Sian with the news they had been waiting for — his visa was granted.
Sian has been extremely upset these past months being unable to be by Andy's side to comfort him and take care of him.
"It's been very, very difficult for him," said Andy.
The couple were last together in December. Andy said he was not sure if he would ever see Sian again.
News of the visa approval has been "lifechanging", he said.
However, he remains angry that it took so much for him to bring his partner over to be with him before he dies.
"It shouldn't be this hard to get a visa for a loved one to come over," he said.
Andy said that he never received any sort of response from half of the TDs and senators he contacted.
"When it came down to it and I needed something desperately, there was just no help there from the Government," he said.
"It took extraordinary lengths to actually get just a simple visa for my partner to come over and be with me before I die."
Although Sian is expected to arrive next week, the visa struggle is not over yet.
A holiday visa will only allow him to stay here for three months, so they will need to seek a change of circumstance to allow Sian to stay for longer.