Cork radio presenter Neil Prendeville today blamed a mixture of alcohol and painkillers for his failure to remember an incident in which he exposed himself on a flight.
Aer Lingus is understood to be in the process of making a formal complaint to gardaí after Mr Prendeville was seen to expose himself and masturbate in his seat as the plane taxied before take-off.
Mr Prendeville was seated in the front row of the aircraft facing two air hostesses.
A female passenger who sat next to Mr Prendeville was contacted by Aer Lingus and informed that the airline was contacting gardaí about the incident.
The chat show host was one of a number of guests at an event in London on October 19 to promote conference business in Cork.
The guests were entertained, prior to the late return flight to Cork, at celebrity chef Richard Corrigan’s restaurant.
Mr Prendeville said he had been drinking and taking painkillers for a neck injury.
Today, just before his talk show was due to begin at 9am today, the 96FM presenter went on air and said: “I was asked to go to London to give a speech at a convention.
“I had taken three pain-killing tablets before I left Cork. I remember being in the restaurant. I remember giving the speech. I do not recall how I got back to the airport. 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 coming through the airport or even how I got home.”
Mr Prendeville said he cannot deny that the incident happened on the plane because he can’t remember.
He said: “I would like to take this opportunity to offer my deepest apologies to the passengers on the plane, to the flight personnel, to my family, to my employers and my work colleagues and to all the people of Cork.”
“I apologise unreservedly to all concerned.”
Mr Prendeville said he hopes that people will learn from his experience and not mix alcohol and tablets.
He is taking a break from his job as a talk-show host with 96FM.
Aer Lingus today said they could not comment on ‘security matters’, while it is understood that no complaint has yet been received by gardaí.