Cullen's space dream stuck on launch pad
Published 22/08/2010 | 05:00
MILLIONAIRE businessman Bill Cullen's dreams of becoming Ireland's first space tourist may be at an end because he is not a US citizen.
The Apprentice star was one of two Irish people who paid €200,000 to become part of Virgin boss Richard Branson's dream of space tourism. Irish Psychics Live boss Tom Higgins and Mr Cullen are both hoping to be named the first Irishman in space.
However, another Irishman hoping for inclusion in the pioneering venture learnt this weekend that he had been excluded on security grounds.
Cyril Bennis, who comes originally from Limerick but is now living in Stratford-upon-Avon in England, received a legal notice from Virgin Galactic stating that at present only US citizens can be considered for inclusion.
However, Mr Cullen said yesterday he was unaware of any change in his status and that he still expects to be blasted into space next year.
"I am the first fully signed up pioneer," he said last night. "I am numero uno. I have heard nothing about this but I will get my guy to check it."