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Dublin: 6 °C Monday 21 October, 2019

Did Alan Shatter really cheat death at Dublin Airport yesterday?

The former justice minister reportedly had a lucky escape yesterday…

Did Alan Shatter cheat death yesterday morning?
Did Alan Shatter cheat death yesterday morning?
Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

IT’S BEEN AN eventful few weeks for former justice minister Alan Shatter and according to today’s Irish Sun he had a “lucky escape” when his flight came “within seconds of disaster” at Dublin Airport.

The front page story – headlined ‘I Nearly Shatter Myself’ – says that Shatter was on board the Aer Lingus flight EI152 to Heathrow yesterday that had “to slam on the brakes as it hurtled down” the runway at Dublin Airport.

This was because of a delayed aircraft which was coming into land and forced the Aer Lingus flight to abort its take off just before 7am.

The flight returned to stand before subsequently taking off just before 8am when the runway had been cleared.

The story by Eavan Murray includes a picture of what Shatter might look like on an airplane and quotes an “informed source” who said it was “the stuff of nightmares” with Shatter and passengers on board said to have “cheated death”.

However, two sources in the aviation industry played down the incident when contacted by today.

One said the story in The Irish Sun is “exaggerated” and described the incident as “a normal navigational issue”. Another insisted “there is no story in this”.

We also contacted the Irish Aviation Authority and Aer Lingus to see what they had to say.

Here’s what the IAA said in a statement:

Yesterday, Dublin Air Traffic Control instructed an Aer Lingus aircraft to abort its take off, when an incoming aircraft advised that it would perform a go around for technical reasons. This was done to ensure that the departing aircraft would not conflict with the flight path of the aircraft going around. The risk of a possible near miss was therefore eliminated.

Meanwhile, Aer Lingus said:

Aer Lingus flight EI 152, Dublin to London Heathrow, pushed-back for departure at 6:38 yesterday morning. Shortly thereafter Air Traffic Control instructed the crew to abort take-off. This was due to the delayed landing of another aircraft. EI 152 returned safely to stand and subsequently took off at 7:56. The length of the delay was exacerbated by the fact that the incident occurred during the peak morning period.

Neither were able to confirm if Shatter was in fact on the flight, but we have contacted the Fine Gael backbencher this morning and judging by the dial tone he appears to be out of the country.

He hasn’t responded to our request to talk about how he “cheated death” at the time of publication.

Read: How has Alan Shatter gone from Department of Justice to High Court?

Alan Shatter: “I’m going nowhere”

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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