Courts

Thursday 24 July 2014

Family caused chaos on flight from Dublin after attending wake

Published 26/06/2014|11:21

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Michael McDonagh and his family caused drunken chaos on a flight to Stansted Airport from a funeral in Dublin
Michael McDonagh and his family caused drunken chaos on a flight to Stansted Airport from a funeral in Dublin

An Irish family caused in-flight chaos as they sang and swigged from cans of beer on the return journey from a wake in Dublin, a court heard.

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One member of the McDonagh clan tumbled into another passenger when he ran down the aisle of the packed aircraft.

Another went to the use the toilet but succeeded only in urinating all over the floor, Highbury Magistrates Court heard.

Father-of-two Michael McDonagh, 28, and his family produced their own cans of Guinness after they boarded and several were confiscated by flight attendants.

He and ten of his traveller relatives were in 'high spirits' at the departure lounge and caused numerous problems for staff and other passengers.

Prosecutor Penny Ferguson said: 'This occurred on 13 March this year.

'The defendant and a number of his family members were on a Ryanair flight to London (Stansted) which landed at around 6pm.

'There were a number of problems due to noisy behaviour.

'The group refused to stay seated and got up, were singing and drinking cans of Guinness.

'They were causing a nuisance.'

At one stage the family were causing such a disturbance that the pilot ordered the rest of the passengers to fasten their safety belts.

Michael McDonagh, an out of work mechanic, had stood shouting in the middle of the aircraft before dashed down the aisle and hitting the woman passenger.

'The defendant was moving at speed,' said Miss Ferguson.

'It (the injury) was caused by the reckless behaviour of the defendant who had been drinking but was not drunk.

'The aircraft landed at Stansted, police officers had been called and the defendant was identified by staff on board.'

McDonagh had switched seats and changed his clothes in an attempt to prevent police spotting him.

The victim had to undergo months of physiotherapy for a sprained shoulder.

McDonagh has a number of previous convictions including a public disorder offence in August last year.

His cousin, Patrick McDonagh, 44, was fined £178 for urinating on the aircraft.

He was drunk when he relieved himself on the floor of the toilet. 

Kalsoom Shah, defending, said: 'On the day of the offence Mr McDonagh and a number of family members were making their way back to the UK from Dublin where they had attended the funeral of a very young child of a cousin. 

'The party was boisterous but not aggressive.

'Mr McDonagh states that although he had a number of drinks he recalls what happened and accepts that due to his actions the complainant received an injury.

'He didn't behave in an aggressive or violent manner and he is remorseful for the injury caused.'

She said McDonagh has a drink problem and has admitted that he needs help.

Michael McDonagh, of Glendish Road, Tottenham, north London, previously pleaded guilty to recklessly or negligently endangering an aircraft or person in an aircraft.

He was sentenced to a 12-month supervision order, six-month alcohol treatment order and was ordered to pay £100 compensation, £85 costs and £60 victim surcharge.

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