Radio presenter Neil Prendeville is to be the subject of a garda investigation over possible discrepancies in his story about a sex act he carried out on board an Aer Lingus flight.
Confusion has arisen over Prendeville's version of what happened when compared to details of the incident made public by his solicitor Gerald Kean.
In an on-air apology, the 49-year-old Cork DJ said his memory of the entire night's events was a blank from the moment he left a restaurant in central London to go to the airport.
Prendeville said he remembered nothing from then on, except for a single moment of clarity in which he recalled taking painkilling tablets.
Kean's version of events appeared to differ when he spoke to Today FM's Matt Cooper on The Last Word on Wednesday. Kean said Prendeville had taken more tablets for an ongoing neck injury, and "then took some more drink and can't remember anything". Kean added that the memory loss "didn't happen all at once. That was over an hour or two before he got on the plane."
Gardaí are currently trying to piece together a full timeline of the events, gathered from witness statements, CCTV footage, and accounts given by both Prendeville and Kean. They are trying to determine what occurred during the couple of hours that seem to be unaccounted for.
Only when that process is completed will they attempt to speak to the €150,000-a-year radio DJ in person, garda sources confirmed to the Sunday Tribune.
Kean said his client would be happy to speak to gardaí but they have had no contact yet from investigating officers.
He said his client was under tremendous strain but that his family was standing by him.
Attempts to contact Prendeville about possible discrepancies in his account of what happened on board the Aer Lingus flight were unsuccessful.
It is understood, however, that the DJ has been keen to give media interviews to journalists he considers to be "personal friends", despite his apparent attempts to avoid media scrutiny.
Prendeville was part of a small group of Cork-based journalists who boarded a flight from Cork Airport at 4pm on Tuesday 19 October. They were guests of the Cork Convention Bureau and were due to meet a delegation of British travel agents at around 6.30pm in the centre of London. The event, which was being supported by Tourism Ireland, took place at the famous Bentley's Oyster Bar and Grill, owned by celebrity chef Richard Corrigan.
On arrival in London, the group took the Heathrow Express to central London from where it was only a short taxi ride to the venue.
Prendeville, who owns a bar and restaurant in Cork city, gave a short speech extolling the virtues of food and drink from his home region.
Within two hours, the group were on their way back to Heathrow after leaving Bentley's by taxi at 8.30pm.
On arrival at the airport, it emerged that the flight would be delayed for at least half-an-hour and the delegation headed for the lounge.
They were eventually seated on the plane but with weather conditions disimproving, it would be another 30 minutes before the aircraft began to taxi.
It was then that Prendeville began to masturbate using an in-flight magazine to cover what he was doing. A journalist from the Irish Examiner was sitting next to him and witnessed the public display.
Passengers seated nearby and astonished air hostesses were alerted to what Prendeville was doing and he was asked to stop. On arrival in Cork, Aer Lingus staff made no attempt to contact gardaí and the airline has been criticised for its failure to take action.
As far as Prendeville was concerned, everything after leaving Bentley's Restaurant was a complete blur.
In his apology, he said: "I know that I arrived there [at the restaurant] by train and by taxi. And I do not recall how I got back to the airport.
"But I did get back to the airport and I did travel on the flight in question. And because of a persistent neck injury I took those painkillers again prior to boarding the plane along with alcohol while at the restaurant.
"And as a result I remember absolutely nothing about the flight itself or even coming through the airport or even how I got home."
Why is this perv even in the news? He plainly knew what he was doing as he had the fore sight to cover his self stimulation with a magazine which demonstrates intent, knowledge and consequence. This loser should be fired - if he has not already been - and charged with indecent exposure. Did he drive home I wonder? Gardai...?
As one of the thousands of Alcoholics in this Country, Mr P's memory loss seems quite believable to me, I would regularly lose hours, days, and weeks to my drinking, and I have never gotten them back despite being sober for 15 years, perhaps NP has done this country a favour by doing what he did, maybe at last we will realise what a devastatingly damaging drug Alcohol really is, and in his defence I was accused of kicking in a Hotel door one night, I had been there, but I could not remember kicking any door, all I remember is going to bed, I lost about fifteen minutes of memory, for me to kick in a door would have been so far out of character as to be unbelievable, but I was forced to pay for the damaged door . Let them man alone now, you have had your pound of flesh.
Well if he was in a asleep...he certainly was busy. Plenty busy.
I wonder if anyone commenting here has has had the misfortune to have to listen to Neil Prendeville?? I know schadenfreude is meant to be a bad thing but I have to chuckle everytime I see this story - couldn't happen to a nicer guy!
As regards what the man above says about kicking a hotel door in during a blackout... I'm sure you weren't using a something to disguise your foot kicking the door. Why oh why did the man use an in flight magazine to hide or mask what he was doing...I really don't know what to make of it.The mind absolutely "Boggles" at times. It's a real GUBU moment. Grotesque, Unbelievable, Bizarre and (underhanded !)
Like the Kangaroo at the party uproar - I don't understand why this story is front page news.
This week the court of criminal appeal decided that the three life sentences given for the murder of a young mother and her two little daughters on christmas day 2008 could run concurrently rather than consecutively - with not even a cursory explanation given.
It's a pity the media aren't transfixed by vile travesties like this instead.
I would imagine that Neil will only be allowed any further flights unless he is in stocks as per your picture,this could prove expensive as he will have to pay for the seats either side of him...it will be effective though!
This man is alleged to have commited indecent exposure and then a sexual act in front of several witnesses. I don't understand why he wasn't taken off the plane by Gardai when it arrived at the airport. He should have been arrested and charged. I assume he has been suspended pending the outcome of whatever investigation is underway?
This is a business opportunity. I think that Aer Lingus should offer a broadsheet version of Cara to provide better cover for passengers. It could be a five euro option when you booked your flight or they could dedicate a specific row for this activity and charge a premium for seats in that row, just like the exit row. Come on ALT or Micky (no pun intended) O'Leary will beat you to it.
I am amazed that something like this could happen to such an influential man. It makes me think that the alcohol and the pain killers must definitely had a profound affect on this mans demeanor. I do not believe that this man would behave like this if he was in control of his faculties, why would he, he would know the consequences of such behavior. I believe that it is out of character for him to ever for one moment think of behaving like this. I have listened to Neil for many years and I know that over the years he has helped a great many people and while I do not in any way approve of what happened on that day, I think the people of this Country are to quick to put someone down and are to quick to circle the carcass of others.
If he was capable of doing this whilst under the influence of drink/drugs then he could also commit more serious offences if he is so out of it he doesn't even remember several hours.I recall a man being arrested after complaining about a sandwich he was served on a Ryanair flight but then he wasn't a minor celebrity. One law for them and another for the rest of us. He covered himself with a magazine so he knew what he was doing was wrong. Throw the book at him.
They call it the mile high club - but this doesn't count. Anyway the plane is supposed to take off first.
Your comments are more disturbing to me, I mean NOBODY here is personally affected by his actions, we may giggle and think it is wrong, we may be completely disgusted but GET OVER IT YOU PETTY, FOOLS. This man has been on the front of the papers since this "incident", he has taken a "career break" his life will never be the same again. As Maire above said this man has done a lot of good in his life. We have a government that is running this country into the ground, we have bankers the gambled OUR money each and everyday of the boom and lost it all and we have a former regulator who should have put a stop to it all still living it up with the "dig outs" he received for his work. How many people have lost their lives as a result of the recession? Well 3 men were pulled from the Liffey in the last 3 day's. So grow up, get you priorities in place, if you all have nothing to worry about great, all I know is my family are wondering how we can afford some oil to keep us warm this winter.
What this man done was vile, there was children on the plane, did he even bother to check, if he was in view of them, he is only using excuses, If this happened to be a priest of Christian brother that done this, we would never hear the end of it on the Neil Prendeville show, he would be the first to demand garda action and a court prosecution. What good for the goose is good for the gander. As for Aer Lingus, they don’t come out of this smelling of roses, any one else and they would have them removed from the flight in London, ‘”Dont they know who I am” syndrome again. As to the comments that NOBODY here is personally affected by his actions. WRONG, They have been a number of complaints about his sex act to the Garda from passengers and staff of Aer Lingus. Let him burn, he deserves it.
Comments are moderated by our editors, so there may be a delay between submission and publication of your comment. Offensive or abusive comments will not be published. Please note that your IP address (188.8.131.52) will be logged to prevent abuse of this feature. In submitting a comment to the site, you agree to be bound by our Terms and Conditions
Subscribe to The Sunday Tribune’s RSS feeds. Learn more.
Get off to a profitable sports betting start today at sportsbetting.co.uk
The radio station that employs this person and for whom he is the public face states that Prenderville's show 'sets the agenda in Cork' and that it has 271,000 'adult' listeners each day.
Perhaps 'the agenda' he sets is in the course of radical change but what impact will this have on the station's 'adult' listeners? If those with dough take their discriminating ears to another broadcaster advertising revenue will shrink and at that point Cork 96 FM will have to decide what it has precisely to offer 'adult listeners' and, exactly with what 'agenda' it chooses to be defined by. It will be interesting to observe how it intends to negotiate this moral hazard because its decision will speak volumes of how it regards it audience and if he is considered a 'celebrity' what is it that he 'celebrates'.
Sentiment is a fickle phenomena when doubts arise about authenticity. Ask the politicians!