Dublin Airport: Woman asked to remove breast prosthesis at security

  • By Catherine Moore
  • BBC News NI

Image source, Aoife Herrity


Ms Ní Leannain wears the artificial breast after a mastectomy 15 years ago

A woman who had a mastectomy said she was “stunned” when she was asked to remove her prosthetic breast after it triggered a new security scanner alarm at Dublin Airport.

Realtán Ní Leannain, originally from Belfast but living outside Dublin, was traveling to Donegal.

She said she was “like a rabbit caught in the headlights” during the incident.

Dublin Airport apologized and said the situation should have been handled better.

Ms Ní Leannain told BBC NI’s Evening Extra: “The security guard didn’t even offer to pat me down. She stood up and waited for me to remove the prosthesis.

“I couldn’t really think. Every time I tried to rationalize it, I couldn’t.”

Image source, Dominic McGrath/PA Wire

The new security scanner technology tends to display a triangle and a warning light when it detects the prosthesis, Ms Ní Leannain said.

At other airports, such as Glasgow and Amsterdam, she was briefly searched or allowed to explain her situation.

However, her experience at Dublin Airport was very different, she said, and the security guard told her she needed to see her prosthetic.

“When it was halfway through, she said, ‘Okay, go ahead.’ I picked up my pieces, sat down to have a coffee and that’s when it happened. started hitting me.”

“What will happen next time?”

Ms Ní Leannain said she emailed Dublin Airport operator DAA after the incident last month and asked for assurances that it would not happen again.

She said the airport “couldn’t give that answer” and that was why she was speaking out.

She asked for airport protocols to be clearly outlined online for herself and others in a similar situation.

“I would like to see that on websites or with airlines, where you go to book your ticket and they tell you you can’t bring scissors or a certain amount of liquids,” she said.

Image source, Getty Images

A DAA spokesperson said an investigation into the incident “concluded that the situation should have been handled better”.

“We are very sorry that our passenger had a negative experience during their recent trip to Dublin Airport,” they said.

“All passengers in such situations can request a private screening, which is then facilitated by a qualified member of staff.

“Unfortunately this did not happen on the day in question. We offer our full apologies to the passenger and can assure her that steps have been taken to ensure a similar situation is avoided in the future.”

Ms Ní Leannain said she had not been offered a private search and did not know she could request one.

However, she said it shouldn’t be necessary for travelers to request private showings.

News Source :
Gn Health

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