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Castlebar woman disembarks cruise ship, now heading for home

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ZOOMING INTO OUR HOMES Castlebar musician appeared on last Friday's nights Late Late Show, where she was interviewed by host Ryan Tubridy. Pic: RTÉ Player

Kate Heneghan (24) zoomed into Friday’s Late Late Show, days before month-long ordeal came to an end

Ger Flanagan

A CASTLEBAR woman who spent 30 days isolating on a cruise ship near Sydney, Australia, is nearing a return to Ireland after finally disembarking the vessel.
Musician Kate Heneghan was one of over 1,000 crew members from 50 countries who were isolating onboard the Ruby Princess cruise ship. The ship is embroiled in a huge political and criminal investigation in the Australian state of New South Wales over how it docked and allowed 2,700 passengers to disembark.
However, Kate was among the first of at least 49 crew members who were allowed to disembark the ship yesterday (Tuesday), along with the four other Irish people onboard.
After disembarking the ship, she spent a day in a Sydney hotel until this morning (Wednesday), where she boarded a flight to Doha, which will then make its to Europe and Ireland.
The Ruby Princess ship was carrying over 190 people who have tested positive for Covid-19 and is the single largest source of the virus in the country right now. The New South Wales Police have said that more will disembark the ship, but hundreds will remain on board and return with the vessel to its port of origin.
Speaking to The Mayo News from Sydney last Monday, Kate revealed that good news that she has tested negative for the virus.
“I got the results back from my swab and blood tests, and both were negative, which means that I don’t currently have Covid-19, and I don’t have antibodies, so I never had it,” the 24 year old said. “Which is a bit mad, because some of my bandmates have antibodies and two of them tested positive.”
Kate appeared via Zoom on The Late Late Show with host Ryan Tubridy last Friday night, where she revealed that she is unsure when she will be able to return home. Thousands of people had signed a petition to the Department of Foreign Affairs demanding that they be repatriated from Sydney.
Despite being in isolating on the ship for over 30 days, Kate remained positive throughout the ordeal and is looking forward to coming home.
“From day one I didn’t look too far into the future,” she said. “I didn’t think about tomorrow or the day after or the week after that. I have really just been taken every day as it comes, waking up every morning thinking, ‘How I can keep busy and productive?’.
“However, I still cannot wait to get home. I am so looking forward to it.”