Galway football coach facing 20 years in prison for exposing himself on flight to New York

Galway football coach facing 20 years in prison for exposing himself on flight to New York

A man from Galway is facing time in prison after allegedly exposing himself and causing numerous disturbances during a flight from Dublin to New York.

Shane McInerney (29), from Ballinalsoe, was a passenger on a Delta Air Lines flight to JKF Airport on 7 January, and allegedly "repeatedly refused to wear a facemask despite being asked dozens of times by flight crew personnel to put on a mask."

He is also alleged to have "knowingly and intentionally" assaulted and intimidated a flight crew member, interfered with the performances of the duties of the member and lessen the ability of the member to perform those duties, according to an FBI affidavit filed on 8 January.

Such a crime is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

The affidavit continues to detail the events of the flight.

It is alleged that at one point, McInerney threw an empty beverage can which hit the head of an individual, and that he also kicked the back of the passenger seat in front of him.

He reportedly also walked into the first-class section of the plane, despite having an economy ticket and, and complained about his food.

While being escorted back to his seat, McInerney is said to have "pulled down his pants and underwear and exposed his buttocks" to crew.

"In addition, the defendant disobeyed the orders of flight attendants as the airline was on final approach to JFK's runway, when the flight crew members, flight attendants, and passengers were buckled into their seats."

While landing, the defendant is said to have stood up, left his seat and entered the aisle, and refused to sit back down.

The flight's captain also attempted to speak to McInerney while he was on a break.

While speaking, he reportedly removed the pilot's hat and placed his own hat on the pilot's head twice.

He also put on of his fists up close to the pilot and said "Don't touch me."

At least one of the passengers found McInerney's conduct to be scary, the affidavit says.

Flight crew members even considered diverting the plane to another airport to remove McInerney before completing the trip.

He was arrested upon landing, made a court appearance last week and was released on $20,000 bail as he awaits trial.

Shane McInerney previously played football as a schoolboy international for Ireland and went on to play professional football for low-level teams in the US, Sweden and Australia.

In recent years he has been working as a football coach, and was flying to America to take up a role in the field.

Tweeting in June, he announced he had been signed by American football team Peru State College, having taken up the sport just a few months previously.

He was named as senior kicker for the first team last month.

In a social media post of him sitting on a Florida beach after he was released from custody, he said he was "blessed to call this place home for the next few months."