Family flee Japan for Donegal

The Twins Towns are preparing to welcome home a local woman and her family who have been caught up in the devastating earthquake in japan.

The Twins Towns are preparing to welcome home a local woman and her family who have been caught up in the devastating earthquake in japan.

Aoife Hoolihan Tamura, along with her Japanese husband Tak, three-week-old bay son Koshi and her parents-in-law, are expected to arrive on Irish soil tomorrow (Saturday).

They have been attempting to leave the country in the wake of the earthquake and nuclear disaster which has been unfolding since and had been hoping to travel today but due to transport delays are now expected to arrive tomorrow.

The young Japanese/Irish family live in Chiba approximately 200 miles from Sendai, the worst affected area, but they still experienced violent tremors from the earthquake last Friday.

Despite this, little baby Koshi managed to sleep through the devastating quake, the worst ever experienced in the country.

As the quake hit Aoife, a photographer and English teacher, fled her apartment building with baby Koshi and was joined by her mother in law, Yoko, who took them to her home after they spent a number of hours waiting in a school yard.

Aoife’s husband had been working in Tokyo city centre when his building was badly shaken.

Once he escaped to safety he began walking the 30 mile journey home and later bought a bicycle along the way from a 92-year-old man to speed up his efforts to see his young family.

After being reunited with his wife and son they later returned to their own apartment.

Aoife’s parents Jim and Angela Hoolihan had planned to travel to the Asian country but cancelled the trip enroute to Dublin airport when they learned of the growing danger of the situation in Japan.

Angela says they are now “waiting and hoping” that her daughter and her family have a safe journey to Ireland.

She says the goodwill of the local community has been overwhelming.

“We’re really looking forward to getting them back. I think Koshi is a celebrity before he even arrives here.” Angela explains.

Her son-in-laws parents, Mr and Ms Tamura, have visited Donegal before and Tak has previously lived in Ireland for ten years before he and Aoife moved to Japan, where they married six years ago.