DJ to return in weeks as prosecution ruled out for 'vile actions'
Published 03/03/2011 | 05:00
RADIO star Neil Prendeville is expected to be back on air within weeks after gardai confirmed he would not face prosecution over a lewd act on an Aer Lingus flight.
Mr Prendeville (49) was the focus of a garda probe after allegations he first exposed himself and then masturbated underneath an in-flight magazine on the Heathrow-Cork flight on October 19 last.
The father-of-two was unavailable for comment yesterday -- but friends said he was "very hopeful" he could resume his career shortly.
The €150,000-a year outspoken broadcaster is now set for crunch talks with 96 FM and UTV bosses over the timing of his proposed return. UTV are eager to clarify the stance of advertisers should he resume his morning show.
The Irish Independent understands that he could be back on air within a matter of weeks.
Gardai submitted a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) after they received complaints about the radio star's alleged behaviour.
The decision to take no further action followed legal issues about the precise jurisdiction involved as the Airbus aircraft was still on the runway in Heathrow when the incident complained of occurred.
One passenger seated near Mr Prendeville said he saw absolutely nothing untoward during the flight.
However, Irish Examiner reporter, Niamh Hennessy, who was seated near the radio star, expressed her dismay at the decision not to take action.
"His (Mr Prendeville's) actions were vile. It begs the question should the gardai now hand the file over to the British authorities," she said.
The Irish Independent understands that action by the British authorities over the matter is highly unlikely.
Mr Prendeville insisted that he had absolutely no recollection of the incident after consuming painkillers on top of three pints of Guinness, three bottles of lager and a copious amount of wine.
"Because of a persistent neck injury I did take those pain-killers again prior to boarding the plane along with alcohol while at (Bentley's) restaurant. And as a result, I remember absolutely nothing about the flight itself or even coming through the airport or how I got home," the broadcaster explained last year.
"If the reports are true -- and I cannot deny that they are not because I just don't recall -- then I would 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 to all the people of Cork. I apologise unreservedly to all concerned."