Irishman Refuses To Wear Mask On Delta Flight, Moons Crew & Passengers

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Damir Mujezinovic

On January 7, along with dozens of other people, 29-year-old Irishman Shane McInerney boarded a Delta Air Lines flight from Dublin to New York City.

And just like everyone else on the flight, McInerney -- who is a soccer coach -- was asked to adhere to the airline's COVID-19 mitigation rules, which include mandatory mask wearing.

But McInerney refused to comply, and apparently started taunting and abusing members of the crew, flight attendants, and his fellow passengers. At one point, he even mooned them.

Read more below.

What Did McInerney Do?

According to court documents obtained by The New York Post, McInerney allegedly refused "dozens of requests" from the crew to put on a protective face mask.

He allegedly threw an empty beverage can at a fellow passenger, stormed into the first class cabin to complain about the food in economy, kicked the seat of the passenger in front of him, and refused to sit down as the plane landed to John F. Kennedy Airport.

The Irishman also appeared eager to fight the captain, and shouted at crew members. At one point, he pulled down his pants and underwear, mooning passengers and flight staff, according to court documents.


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McInerney -- who was flying from Dublin to New York en route to Florida to begin a job at a soccer academy -- was admitted to Jamaica Hospital for medical and psychological evaluation after the flight landed.

He now faces up to 20 years in prison on charges of interfering with a flight crew’s duties and intentionally assaulting and intimidating a crew member.

The Irishman was released on $20,000 bail pending his trial and will have to seek mental health care at his upcoming arraignment in Brooklyn federal court.

FBI Affidavit

As reported by DublinLive, an FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) agent wrote in an affidavit that other passengers felt intimidated by McInerney.

"At least one passenger found the defendant’s conduct to be scary," the agent wrote.

"The flight crew members and flight attendants on the airplane repeatedly stopped their ordinary duties to address him," they added, noting that the pilot took a break two hours into the flight and came back into the cabin to speak with McInerney and calm him down.

But the Irishman responded by raising a fist to the pilot's face and saying "Don't touch me."

Passenger Incidents

In recent months, there has been an increase in passenger incidents, according to the administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration Steve Dickson.

"Over the past year, we had seen a dramatic uptick in unruly passenger incidents, and we’ve undertaken a number of measures to get that under control," Dickson recently said, per The New York Times.

"And I’m happy to say that the rates are down significantly, year over year, but we’ve still got more work to do. And this is, again, something that we need to continue to stay focused on," he added.

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