'Did someone order a Grandson for Christmas?'

A young couple gave their parents the best Christmas present ever this week – a first meeting with their grandson.

Monica McCafferty from Ballybofey and Fergus Reid from Kildare had their baby Jack in Australia 14 months ago.

But, with the pandemic’s travel restrictions, none of Jack’s doting grandparents ever got the chance to meet him. Instead, they watched him grow up through Facetime.

As soon as restrictions eased, Monica and Fergus booked the first flight they could and kept all their travel plans a secret until this week.

They surprised Fergus’ parents first, before travelling to Donegal on Monday.

Watch their reactions here: 

Both sets of grandparents were stunned to see their children at their doors and over the moon to enjoy an adorable first cuddle with little Jack.

“It’s safe to say they got the shock of their lives!,” said Monica.

The hardest part of the surprise was keeping it a secret from everyone, she said, and keeping a close eye on changing travel restrictions to make sure they would definitely get home. Monica’s sister was the only person who knew they were coming home, as she was in charge of organising the Jack’s cot and high chair.

“It went a lot better than we imagined,” Monica said.

Their first reunion was with Fergus’ mum Christine and dad Ger in Kildare. The electricity was off due to Storm Barra, but Jack’s arrival lit up their evening.

As people down the country got word that the Reid’s were home, they worried that the secret would get out. But they pulled off another heartwarming surprise with Monica’s parents Joe and Rosemary McCafferty in Ballybofey.

Like many families with people living abroad, the past two years have been full of missed moments.

“I can’t explain how hard it was not to be able to show off our newborn baby, or to celebrate his first birthday without his grandparents being there,” Monica said.

The couple plans to spend Christmas in Ireland an enjoy special time family and friends.

Covid-19 in Brisbane has been a very different experience compared to Donegal, Monica said. “Brisbane isn’t strict, there are no masks and no social distancing, we know Covid exists only from hearing about it at home.”

Monica and Fergus met on a flight to Australia seven years ago. Their first date was in Abu Dhabi on the journey over, and the rest is history. They now run their own construction company, Northline Developments, which they call Brisbane’s Friendliest Building Company.