Neil Prendeville: masturbation

GARDAÍ have sent a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) following an investigation into radio presenter Neil Prendeville, who allegedly carried out a sex act on board an Aer Lingus flight.

The DPP will now consider the matter and decide whether the DJ should face charges over his alleged attempt at masturbation in full view of other passengers and cabin crew. Committing a lewd act in public is a criminal offence.

Prendeville's solicitor Gerald Kean, and his employer, the UTV-owned Cork radio station 96fm, both refused this weekend to confirm or deny reports that the controversial DJ is due to return to the airwaves.

Prendeville hosted the station's flagship morning show but has been off-air since 3 November when reports of the alleged incident first emerged.

The radio star is alleged to have first exposed himself and then masturbated while seated in the front row of an Aer Lingus plane on a flight from London's Heathrow to Cork on 19 October last.

Prendeville later said he had no recollection of the incident after consuming painkillers and a significant amount of alcohol.

Gardaí launched an investigation after receiving a formal complaint. They have interviewed two people who were sitting near the Corkman – an Irish Examiner journalist and an air hostesses.

A source said gardaí were informed that 96fm was not due to make a decision on Prendeville's future at the station until the DPP decided whether or not he would face criminal charges. The source added that because the incident involving the DJ occurred before the flight took off from Heathrow, there was a potential issue with jurisdiction. The UK police have decided not to investigate the matter. Because the alleged lewd act did not take place in Ireland, he may not face charges, added the source, but that decision lies with the DPP.