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Dublin: 9°C Tuesday 28 September 2021

O’Leary says sorry for “making love to the Queen” joke

“It’s always hard to judge the room”. He told the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly.

Updated at 11.22pm

MICHAEL O’LEARY IS, of course, well known for his capacity to cause controversy.

However — as he rose to deliver a speech at the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly this afternoon, the normally irrepressible Ryanair CEO appeared more a little sheepish.

Much like a first-time best man unsure whether to risk a mother-in-law jibe, the airline boss appeared hesitant as he attempted to get his presentation off to light-hearted start…


(Screengrab: OireachtasFilm)

The reason? This was the joke he was attempting to lighten the mood with:

Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s a great pleasure to be here in such august company…

Addressing such an august body as this reminds me much of making love to the Queen of England…

It’s, eh… You know it’s a great honour — you’re just not sure how much pleasure it’s going to be.

The airline boss had looked like he wanted to back out mid-way through the set-up…


(Screengrab: OireachtasFilm)

In terms of a response, the gag hardly brought the house down…



Though there was at least a smattering of silent mirth from the delegates…

image(Screengrab: OireachtasFilm)

Ever the pro, O’Leary quickly recovered and delivered a wide-ranging presentation — before throwing the floor open to questions.

But Conservative MP for Romford Andrew Rosindell wasn’t going to let him off the hook:

I felt that that was inappropriate and maybe you would like to consider withdrawing those remarks.


Andrew Rosindell (Screengrab: OireachtasFilm)

Unsurprisingly, O’Leary declined to double-down:

Yes, I happily apologise for my opening remarks.

It’s always hard to judge the room. That’s normally is a joke that works quite well. I was told it mightn’t work well here.

I didn’t mean to convey any discourtesy and I apologise if I did.

The Tory MP seemed happy enough with that response later:




Diplomatic incident, averted…


[Dr Strangelove]

First posted at 7.13pm

Read: “Pensioners should pay for their TV licences and travel” – Michael O’Leary

Also: “I’ve made mistakes…I have to change those rough edges” – Michael O’Leary

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