Ballybunion’s captain-in-waiting bunkered by Bangkok blockade

THE incoming captain of one of Ireland’s top golf clubs could be left bunkered by the airport crisis in Bangkok.

One of the 100,000 tourists stranded in the long grass in Thailand is Michael Nagle, who is due to take up office as captain of Ballybunion golf club next Friday night.

But he now fears he may be unable to make it on time for his big night.

Mr Nagle was on a golfing holiday in Vietnam with a group of friends and had planned to get a connecting flight to Amsterdam from Bangkok last Thursday.

He said: “We were told not to bother going to the airport last Thursday due to the protests and we have been in a hotel here ever since.”

Among the group are Cork golfers, Tommy Ellis and Dan Morgan and Dan Blake, who is course manager at Ballybunion.

Mr Nagle, who owns the Marine Hotel in Ballybunion, said he is very anxious to get home for next Friday’s agm of his club.

He said: “Being nominated to be captain of the club is a great honour. It’s an occasion I have been looking forward to since the outgoing captain, Tom Corridon nominated me as his vice captain.

“Our travel agents, Trailfinders have been working to try and get us out, but there are about 100,000 people now in Bangkok trying to get flights out so even when the blockade is lifted it will take some time to clear the backlog of passengers and flights.”

The siege of Bangkok’s two airports, Don Muang and Suvarnabhumi commenced last Monday when thousands of members of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) camped outside both terminals.

They are calling for the removal of the government led by prime minister, Somchai Wongsawat.

The EU moved yesterday to try and arrange flights to get Europeans out of Bangkok.

The stranded Irish visitors said there is no problem regarding security in Bangkok itself.

Mr Nagle said: “It’s a pain and a nuisance not knowing when we’ll be able to get a flight. A few of our group who were booked on an earlier flight managed to get out before the airports were surrounded by protesters.”

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