DJ apologises over flight incident
A high-profile radio DJ from Cork has issued a public apology over an incident on an Aer Lingus flight from London last month.
Neil Prendeville, who hosts a weekday show on Cork’s 96FM, is alleged to have committed a sex act as the flight was leaving Heathrow airport en route to Cork on October 19th.
The Irish Examiner reported that Mr Prendeville was seen exposing himself as he sat in his seat.
This morning Mr Prendeville issued an apology on his radio show saying he had no recollection of the incident as he had taken a mixture of painkillers and alcohol prior to the flight for a persistent neck injury.
He said: “I wish to confirm I did travel on the flight in question, I was asked to go to London to give a speech at a convention. I had taken three pain killing tablets before I left Cork.
“I remember being in the restaurant, I remember giving the speech, I remember being outside the restaurant talking with some other people, I know that I arrived there by train and by taxi and I do not recall how I got back to the airport.
“But I did get back to the airport and I did travel on the flight in question and because of a persistent neck injury I took those pain killers again prior to boarding the plane along with alcohol while at the restaurant and as a result I remember absolutely nothing about the flight itself or even coming through the airport or even how I got home.
“If the reports [in today's Irish Examiner] are true and I can’t deny that they are not because I just don’t recall and I’d like to take this opportunity to offer my deepest apologies to the passengers on the plane, to the flight personnel, to my family, to my employers and my work colleagues and all of the people of Cork," he said. “And I apologise unreservedly to all concerned.”
Mr Prendeville said he hoped others would learn from his “terrible personal experience” and not mix painkillers or any tablets with alcohol.
He thanked people for the support he has received and has taken some time off work. “Anybody who knows me will hopefully confirm that what is contained in this story is totally out of character and again my sincerest apologies,” he added.
Aer Lingus are believed to be in the process of making a formal complaint to the Garda over the incident. A spokeswoman for the airline said the company was not in a position to comment as it is a “security matter”.
Mr Prendeville’s solicitor Gerald Kean said the incident is something he “deeply regrets”.
Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Pat Kenny, Mr Kean said it is a “huge personal embarrassment for him and it is very difficult for not only himself but his family, his friends his employers and also his work colleagues.
“Having said that he has got incredible support already from those all around him because they know it is totally out of character,” Mr Kean added. “It's shocking for him and its something he will have to live with and it is something he hopes others will learn from."