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Drunken Ryanair passenger arrested at Shannon airport 'thought she was still in Spain'

Court heard woman from Limerick had mixed Xanax with alcohol prior to boarding the flight to alleviate her fear of flying.

Image: Niall Carson

A DRUNKEN RYANAIR passenger was in such a state that she thought that she was still in Spain when arrested by gardaí on her return to Shannon airport from Alicante last month.

That is according to solicitor for Ciara Bradshaw (38), John Casey who told a court today that Ms Bradshaw is a nervous flyer and “a toxic mix” of consuming alcohol and prescription medication had resulted in her behaviour on the Shannon bound flight on Saturday 17 August. 

In the case before Ennis District Court, Ms Bradshaw of Sarsfield Avenue, St John’s, Garryowen, Limerick pleaded guilty to two charges under the Air Navigation and Transport Act concerning her drunkeness and verbally abusing staff and passengers on board the Ryanair flight from Alicante in Spain.

Mr Casey told the court that he spoke with the arresting garda “and Ms Bradshaw was in such a state that she thought she was still in Spain, she didn’t realise that she was back in Ireland”.

In reply, Judge John King said: “What makes this worse than a general public order offence is that this happened in the aircraft cabin and there is nowhere for people to go.”

Mr Casey said that he accepted this and told Judge King that Ms Bradshaw took Xanax and alcohol before getting on board the flight “to alleviate her fear of flying”.

Mr Casey said that the Xanax and alcohol was “a toxic mix”.

Giving an outline of the facts, Sgt Aiden Lonergan said that Ms Bradshaw had consumed her own alcohol, bottles of Bailey’s Irish Cream and Smirnoff vodka while she had also smoked a cigarette.

Sgt Lonergan said that the captain of the aircraft told gardaí that there was a passenger on board intoxicated to such an extent that there was a fear that she might endanger herself or others.

Sgt Lonergan said that Ms Bradshaw was abusive and insulting to flight staff and passengers causing considerable distress to all on board. Sgt Lonergan said that Ms Bradshaw was arrested by gardaí at Shannon after the flight landed.

Mr Casey said: “Ms Bradshaw has no previous convictions. She has worked all her life. She has good standing in the community and a very good job.”

Mr Casey said that the Limerick factory worker “is deeply remorseful about this. It has caused great upset and embarrassment to her to be taken off the flight in front of hundreds of people. Nothing like this has ever happened her in her life”.

Mr Casey said that Ms Bradshaw wanted to apologise unreservedly to staff, gardaí and other passengers and Ms Bradshaw told the court that she phoned the garda station the following day to apologise.

Mr Casey said that the absence of any previous convictions for Ms Bradshaw is indicative of her good character.

Sgt Lonergan said that he didn’t expect Ms Bradshaw to be in court again.

Judge King said that would give Ms Bradshaw the Probation Act if she paid €500 into the court Poor Box and said that she had escaped a conviction over her prior good behaviour and absence of any convictions.

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Gordon Deegan

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