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Taoiseach's flight from Dublin to New York forced to return to Ireland due to a bird strike

The Taoiseach was able to catch a later flight to New York following the incident.

The Taoiseach was due to attend a dinner reception with US President Joe Biden this evening.
The Taoiseach was due to attend a dinner reception with US President Joe Biden this evening.
Image: Alamy Stock Photo

Updated Sep 21st 2022, 9:36 PM

Christina Finn reports from New York: 

AN AER LINGUS flight that was taking the Taoiseach from Dublin to New York for the UN General Assembly events was forced to return to Ireland this evening.

The flight departed at 4.20pm but having just passed Ballina, the plane had to turn back to Dublin Airport.

The Irish Examiner, whose Political Editor Daniel McConnell was also on the flight, reports that the plane had risen to over 12,000 feet when Captain Karl Quinn informed passengers of the need to return to Dublin due to a vibration in its right-hand engine.

A spokesperson for the Taoiseach confirmed that everyone was fine and an Aer Lingus engineer was called to inspect the aircraft.

Earlier in the day, the Taoiseach had attended the National Ploughing Championships in Laois earlier today.

Aer Lingus said in a statement that Flight EI107 operating from Dublin to New York JFK Airport was required to turn back when the aircraft experienced a bird strike shortly after take-off.

“The aircraft landed safely at Dublin Airport and all customers and crew safely disembarked. We plan to operate the flight later this evening on a replacement aircraft. We apologise to customers impacted for the inconvenience,” said the airline.

It is understood that this flight took off shortly after 8.30pm.

Martin was due to attend a reception this evening with world leaders and senior delegation members, including US President Joe Biden.

However, due to the delay the Taoiseach is unlikely to arrive on time to attend the event, however, Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney will be in attendance.

Micheál Martin is due to give a speech to the General Assembly tomorrow evening. 

Today’s events come just six months after the Taoiseach missed out on a meeting with US President Joe Biden after contracting Covid-19 while in Washington DC for St Patrick’s Day. 

Christina will be reporting from the UN throughout the week. You can follow her updates on Twitter @christinafinn8

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