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29 Jun 2022

Senator calls for lifetime bans after woman groped by fellow plane passengers

Senator calls for lifetime bans after woman groped by fellow plane passengers

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A Senator has expressed his disgust at a group of four drunk men, at least one of whom is alleged to have groped a woman on a flight from Kraków in Poland to Dublin last week.

Fianna Fáil Senator Timmy Dooley has called for stricter airline rules after witnessing the incident on the Ryanair flight.

He explained that antisocial or disruptive passengers should potentially face a lifetime ban from flying.

While speaking to Newstalk Breakfast, Senator Dooley referred to the behaviour of the men as 'outrageous'.

The Mountshannon native elaborated: "The flight got delayed for various reasons for about an hour, so we were sitting on the ground for longer than expected: it seemed to have encouraged a number of passengers to partake in whatever duty free or whatever purchases they had made at the airport.

"They got quite drunk and quite disorderly as the flight eventually took off, (and) for those passengers with young children or who were seated close to them, they really were very disruptive.

"A number of passengers were crying. One, in particular, was groped as she passed by one of the individuals. They wouldn't wear masks. They started walking around against the direction and advice of the stewards.

"There was four of them in different parts of the aircraft and that made it very difficult for the flight attendants."

He also commended the cabin crew for the way in which its members handled the matter.

Senator Dooley said that it his belief that 'European level efforts should be made to ensure that disruptive individuals don't get to travel again.

"I would be in favour of a lifetime ban... as a deterrent there should be a headline penalty of a lifetime ban. That's something that needs to be done, it can't be just done at Irish level.

"It would benefit all those that travel on aircraft," he added.

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