There were tears of joy in Dublin Airport when seven Vietnamese people were reunited with their families who came to Ireland as refugees in 1979 when they fled the communist regime in Vietnam.

The latest arrivals flew in from Frankfurt following a 20,000 mile journey from a refugee camp in the People's Republic of China where they had been living for the past two years after their boat broke up on the China Seas.

Sean O'Neill of the Department of Defence greeted 58 year old La Nhi Mai who arrived with her four children to join her son, his wife and their Irish-born baby daughter, who now live in Blackrock in Dublin. Two close relatives of Doc Nhat Mimh who lives with his wife in Dundalk were also admitted.

The Irish government enabled the reunification of close family relatives on humanitarian grounds, and so far a total of 25 family members have joined the 212 refugees who arrived to Ireland in 1979. The latest arrivals will join the Vietnamese community now settled in Ireland.

An RTÉ News report by Anne Daly broadcast on 17 December 1981