Unbelievable story of two Irish stowaways who made it all the way to New York in 1985 will be made into a film
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Unbelievable story of two Irish stowaways who made it all the way to New York in 1985 will be made into a film

THIRTY years ago, two young boys from Dublin left their homes with one goal in mind – to meet their hero, B.A. Baracus from the A-Team.

With some change they stole from a fountain, they boarded a ship to Britain and managed to sneak onto a New York-bound flight from Heathrow airport.

After avoiding ticket inspectors in Ireland, Wales, England and America, the plucky young pair arrived in the Big Apple where they were apprehended by police.

Now, their adventure is set to be made into a film.

Keith Byrne, 10, and Noel Murray, 13, from Darndale in Dublin, left their houses on a sunny August evening in 1985, telling their mothers they would be back in time for dinner.

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Acting quickly, the boys made their way to Dun Laoghaire on a train before sneaking onto a ferry bound for Holyhead in Wales.

From there, they boarded a London-bound train and managed to sneak onto a tube to Heathrow Airport.

The next part of their plan would prove the hardest – sneaking onto a plane to New York.

Emboldened by their early success, the boys followed a man to the gate of a flight about to depart for New York and told the stewardess at the gate that their parents had already boarded.

The plane, an Air India flight, was only half full – so they chose free seats and settled down to enjoy the in-flight entertainment; the James Bond film A View to a Kill.

Once they arrived in the US, they approached a police officer and asked him how to get “into town” – but the officer brought them to the station where it soon became apparent they were runaways.

They became overnight celebrities as their story circled far and wide and were treated like royalty before being shipped back to Ireland.

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“There was BLTs, chips, everything, they fed us like lords. We loved it,” Mr Byrne, now 40, told RTÉ in 2010 for a radio documentary of their escapade.

I don’t think there’d be any chance that you’d get away with it nowadays with everything that’s going on with the planes and the security that they have. They wouldn’t fall for that old trick of ‘my mam’s coming behind me.

Garret Daly, the director of the upcoming film, purchased the rights to make the film two years ago.

“The screenplay is fantastic and it’s hilarious, which is no surprise given the story that’s it based on,” he told Joe.ie.

“It’s so funny. I know the story inside out now but there was so many occasions reading the screenplay that I just kept laughing and thinking - this actually happened.”

Mr Byrne and Mr Murray, who both still live in Darndale but have drifted apart, came together again to chat to the filmmakers.

“It was terrific to get them together to chat about their adventures,” Mr Daly said.

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“They hadn’t seen each other in years and suddenly they were remembering things that happened. There is so much people haven’t heard about it and it will all be in there.”

A release date has yet to be decided for the film, but Mr Daly revealed 2016 would be a big year for the story.