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Dublin Airport apologises after security orders women remove artificial breast in public: ‘should have been handled better’

WorldDublin Airport apologises after security orders women remove artificial breast in public: ‘should have been handled better’

Dublin Airport has apologised after a passenger was told by security staff to remove her prosthetic breast in public as she passed through airport scanners.

Realtán Ní Leannáin told BBC Radio Ulster that the airport’s body scanners highlighted her prosthesis, the result of a mastectomy, as she travelled from the Irish capital to Donegal.

After telling airport security that the alert was caused by her prosthesis, she was told to remove it, she told BBC Radio Ulster.

The security terminal was crowded at the time, the outlet reported.

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Ní Leannáin said she was like a “rabbit in the headlights,” too startled to do anything but comply.

The airport staff’s attitude was as if they’d told her to put an “orange jumpsuit on,” she added. “It was even the physical standing in front of me, as in, ‘I need to see it. I need to see it,’” she said.

Ní Leannáin said she was not offered a private space to remove it in.

After taking the prosthesis half out – which is fiddly because it sits in a pocket – she said she wasn’t made to continue the process.

“I think that’s when the woman, the female security guard, maybe realised she hadn’t been going down the right road,” Ní Leannáin told BBC Radio Ulster.

Should have been handled better … regrettably, this did not happen on the day in question

Dublin Airport spokesperson statement

Dublin Airport representatives later apologised after Ní Leannáin complained, she said, but wouldn’t commit to saying it wouldn’t happen again.

Dublin Airport did not immediately respond to BI’s request for comment, but it did apologise to Ní Leannáin in a statement to BBC Radio Ulster.

An airport spokesperson said that it had investigated the incident and agreed that it “should have been handled better,” the outlet reported.

Passengers can ask for a private screening, but “regrettably, this did not happen on the day in question,” the spokesperson said.

The airport has taken steps to ensure similar situations are avoided in the future, the statement said.

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But Ní Leannáin said she’s concerned that not enough people are aware they can request a private screening.

She added that it’s not just people with prostheses who might be affected, but also people with colostomy bags, among other things.

Airport security lines, and their intrusive searches, have long been a source of anger and frustration.

Tech solutions could eventually help to reduce their need. In March, Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas trialed a self-checkout-style security service that it said may help to reduce pat-downs in the future.

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