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Dublin: 14 °C Monday 16 July, 2018
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Passenger removed from Ryanair flight from Dublin says reports of disturbance are 'fake news'

Niall Harrington and his friends were on their way to Ibiza for a stag party.

Image: RollingNews.ie

ONE OF THREE men taken off a Ryanair flight on Saturday has said the move was an over-reaction by the airline.

Niall Harrington from Cork spoke to Neil Prendeville on the city’s Red FM this morning and said reports that his group had caused havoc were “fake news”.

Niall and his friends were on their way to Ibiza for a stag party when they became involved in what the airline claimed was a disturbance, which led to the flight being diverted to Paris Beauvais Airport. Three passengers were removed and detained by French police on arrival at Paris Beauvais.

Speaking to Prendeville this morning, Harrington said a friend of his had opened a naggin of vodka on the flight but put it away when asked.

Later on he opened it again and before we knew it, we were told we were being diverted.

He said that reports of an “unruly, drink-fuelled disturbance” were “fake news”.

There was nothing like that, it was just good fun – people going on a stag, people going on holiday – everyone was in good form. We’ve met people over here who were on the flight who couldn’t believe it – it was a total over-reaction.

“Everyone was in total shock.”

Harrington says that he has since received an email telling him that he is prohibited from flying Ryanair in future. This came after armed police had taken the trio from the plane in Paris.

He said he and his friends had two drinks in the airport, but said any idea that the three were a security risk was wrong.

From there, they were questioned before being released without charge. They made their way to Charles de Gaulle Airport where they flew to Palma in Majorca. From there, they flew to Ibiza and will fly back to Ireland via Belfast.

A Ryanair spokesperson yesterday said that the diversion had been necessary.

“The aircraft landed normally and the passengers were removed and detained by police upon arrival, before the aircraft continued to Ibiza.

We will not tolerate unruly or disruptive behaviour at any time and the safety and comfort of our customers, crew and aircraft is our number one priority.

Ryanair has responded by calling for significant changes to limit the sale of alcohol at airports, such as a two-drink limit per passenger and no alcohol sales before 10am.

The airline said:

“It is incumbent on the airports to introduce these preventative measures to curb excessive drinking and the problems it creates, rather than allowing passengers to drink to excess before their flights.”

An email to the show from Niall’s wife Grace said the family is due to fly with Ryanair on a family holiday next month.

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