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Tuesday 23 January 2018

Fridge hero's flight plan frozen out by Ryanair

Ken Sweeney

Ken Sweeney

IT WAS the star of a bestselling book, journeying the length and breadth of the country to become the most famous kitchen appliance in history.

Writer Tony Hawks famously dragged his fridge around Ireland in 1997, and documented a country where the Celtic Tiger was only just beginning to roar.

Now he is back to attend the premier of the film adaptation of the book 'Round Ireland With A Fridge' -- and immediately found himself involved in a heated debate with Ryanair over transport arrangements

The tongue-in-cheek author tried to get his inanimate sidekick checked into the cabin, but ultimately the airline insisted the fridge travelled in the hold.

"I travelled all over Ireland with this fridge beside me. So why not on a Ryanair flight?" said Hawks.

"I was prepared to buy a second seat for that purpose. I have to say I'm a little disappointed in Ryanair."

The LEC fridge -- purchased in a Dublin electrical store in 1997 -- was accompanying the 50-year-old to Cork for the Irish premier of 'Round Ireland With A Fridge'.

It was 13 years ago that Hawks accepted a bet to prove the hospitality of the Irish nation, by seeing if he could hitchhike around Ireland with the fridge in tow. This he did, enjoying lifts from wellwishers, their numbers increasing after the late broadcaster Gerry Ryan featured him on his 2fm radio programme.

A book followed, going on to sell 800,000 copies worldwide, and now a film.

"There's only one eejit in this film, me. I didn't try and make Ireland or Irish people look quaint so I'm hoping myself and the fridge will be greeted like stars," said Hawks.

Ryanair's Stephen McNamara said: "We are sorry we had to give a frosty reception to Tony Hawks request but we are unable to allow fridges to travel in the cabin in case they are stocked with beer and take away from our in-flight service."

Irish Independent

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