Friday 23 March 2018

Radio DJ in mid-air sex act inquiry will not face arrest

Ralph Riegel

THE prominent broadcaster who allegedly engaged in a lewd act on an Aer Lingus flight will not be arrested.

But Neil Prendeville (49) will be invited to present himself to be interviewed by gardai.

The Cork 96FM star is said to have exposed himself and committed the lewd act in full view of horrified crew and passengers on a flight from Heathrow to Cork on October 19.

He has gone on leave from his €150,000-a-year job, and efforts to contact him were unsuccessful yesterday.

But the Irish Independent has learned that he is likely to be be interviewed at Togher garda station, Cork, by early December.

Once gardai have concluded all relevant interviews, a file on the matter will be submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Despite initial concerns about jurisdictional issues -- the incident occurred on an Irish aeroplane in UK airspace -- gardai now believe it will not impact on their investigation.


But there are a number of questions surrounding the investigation -- including why the incident wasn't brought to the attention of gardai or airport police on October 19.

CCTV footage from Heathrow, meanwhile, may verify Mr Prendeville's explanation that he was under the influence of a cocktail of alcohol and painkillers at the time.

One garda source said that, given the complexities involved in the inquiry, it is unclear what action, if any, will result.

Two passengers on the plane have already given statements to gardai. Gardai will now seek to speak with passengers seated in the first four or five rows of the aircraft to determine if anyone else spotted the behaviour complained of.

Mr Prendeville is in a secret location with his family -- having left his home in the Cork suburb of Douglas to avoid the intense media spotlight.

UTV, which owns the Cork radio station, said that while it was aware of the story it did not comment on individual staff matters. But it is understood that the controversy will be discussed at a meeting of UTV executives next week.

Irish Independent

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