Fianna Fail Senator Timmy Dooley has called for disruptive passengers to face a lifetime ban from flying after witnessing the “outrageous behaviour” of four “drunk men” who tormented women during a flight.
Mr. Dooley was traveling home from the Ukraine via Poland to Dublin on Tuesday night when he witnessed a young woman being groped.
Speaking to the Irish Mirror, he said: “There were four drunk men on board the flight and one man touched a young woman’s butt and she was very upset.
“It got pretty intense when a couple of the passengers on board tried to intervene and hit the man for what he had done.
“The four men kept trying to occupy seats that were empty and next to other women.
“There were women crying and women with children who might have been fleeing the war in Ukraine.
“They used very sexualized language and it was uncomfortable for everyone.”
Dooley said anyone who disrupts flights should be placed on a watch list and made it difficult for them to fly again.
He said: “For characters like this, there should be a lifetime ban on air travel and never again be in a position to traumatize air passengers.”
He recounted how he was traveling with Fianna Fail MEP Billy Kelleher and a cameraman.
Staff aboard the Ryanair-owned Buzz flight asked the politician for help in defusing the situation on board.
Mr Dooley said: “I have to commend the stewardess and all the staff on board for their professionalism in handling the situation given the level of activity on board the flight.
“The flight attendant was very discreet when they called for help and asked us to go and sit next to the men to talk to them and try to calm them down.
“I have to commend the Ryanair staff on board who were really professional and clearly trained at the highest level to deal with these difficult situations.”
A Garda spokeswoman confirmed that Gardai attended a public order incident at Dublin Airport on Tuesday and two men were arrested.
She said they were taken to Dublin Airport Garda Station, where they were later released, but “investigations are ongoing”.
A Ryanair spokeswoman said: “The crew of this flight from Krakow to Dublin requested Garda assistance on arrival after 3 passengers became disruptive during the flight.
“The aircraft landed normally and Gardai removed these passengers before the rest of the passengers disembarked safely.”