Man released without charge after incident on flight

Man released without charge after incident on flight

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File Photo: © Pat Flynn 2019

A man arrested after a holiday flight was forced to divert to Shannon Airport early today, has since been released without charge.

The man, believed to be 39-years-old, was detained this morning after British Airways flight BA-2204 made the unscheduled landing at the mid-west airport .

The crew opted to divert to Shannon and have the man removed from the aircraft after reporting that he had allegedly assaulted his girlfriend and engaged in abusive and threatening behaviour with cabin crew and other passengers.
The flight, which was travelling from Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic to Gatwick Airport in England at the time, landed at Shannon at around 6.00am.

After the aircraft reached the terminal building, airport police officers and Gardaí boarded the jet and had to wake the man whom, passengers said, was ‘aggressive, abusive and intimidating.’

A video later appeared online showing Gardaí attempting to wake a man they called ‘John’. The man woke up, appeared dazed but left the aircraft with officers without further incident.

Gardaí took statements from cabin crew members and passengers, while the man’s girlfriend is also understood to have made a statement to officers before the flight continued to Gatwick with her still on board.

The man was however removed from the plane and taken inside the terminal before being transported to Shannon Garda station for questioning. He was released later without charge.

A Garda spokesman confirmed: “The man was released without charge this morning while the Garda investigation in this matter will continue.”

A British Airways spokesperson said: “Our pilot diverted to Shannon due to a disruptive customer. The safety and security of our customers and crew is always our number one priority, and disruptive behaviour will not be tolerated onboard our aircraft. The aircraft refuelled and landed shortly afterwards at Gatwick airport.”

The flight was refuelled and resumed its journey Gatwick shortly before 8.00am.

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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