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Prendeville's radio return hit by probe

The Cork DJ who allegedly fondled himself in front of plane passengers on an Aer Lingus flight will not be able to return to work until a garda investigation into allegations of public indecency against him are dealt with, it has been learned.

It had been reported that Neil Prendeville (49) was about to return to the air on Cork 96FM but that move is now dependent on the direction from the DPP as to whether he is to be charged.

Prendeville was taken off the airwaves after it was alleged he had fondled himself on an Aer Lingus flight from Heathrow to Cork on October 19 last.

He has been with the station for 21 years.

It is understood that the DJ's representatives held discussions with the station management earlier this month.

There were rumours he would be back on air by the third week of this month, but this date has been put back pending the DPP's recommendation on the allegations against him.

The DJ was one of a number of guests in London to promote conference business in Cork.

On the flight home he is alleged to have fondled himself while sitting between Irish Examiner journalist Niamh Hennessy and hotelier Seamus Heaney.

Prendeville claimed he cannot remember the incident and blamed it on a combination of alcohol and Nurofen tablets he took for chronic neck pain.

"I'm not going to put up any sort of defence. I hold my hand up and say: "If this is what happened I take responsibility," he said at the time.

"Kieran McGeary, the managing director of Cork 96FM, declined to comment on Prendeville's current status at the station.