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Woman told to remove artificial breast by security staff at Dublin airport

Simon Calder’s Travel

A woman who had undergone a mastectomy was asked to remove her breast prosthesis in public while going through security scanners at Dublin airport.

Realtán Ní Leannáin was travelling to Donegal when she was left “like a rabbit caught in the headlights” when her artificial breast set off the new scanner technology.

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

“I couldn’t actually think. Every time I attempted to rationalise it, I couldn’t.”

When travelling through other airports such as Amsterdam and Glasgow, she had been briefly searched and had been able to explain her situation when a triangle and a warning light appears once the scanner detects the prosthesis.

She was not offered a private screening once her breast was picked up by the security scanner (Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribu)

However, in Dublin she was informed the security officer needed to see her prosthesis, with Ms Ní Leannáin unaware she was able to request a private screening.

“When it was half out she went, ‘Okay, go ahead’. I picked up my bits, sat down for a coffee and that’s when it started to hit me,” she said.

After emailing the DAA, the operator of Dublin airport, she was informed that they “couldn’t give that answer” when she asked for assurances that the incident would not occur again.

She is now asking for airport protocols to be clearly outlined for those in a similar position, with information available on airline websites. She added that it should not be necessary for travellers to ask for private screenings, and should be immediately available.

In response, a DAA spokesperson said that an investigation into the incident found that the “situation should have been handled better”.

“We are very sorry that our passenger had a negative experience when travelling through Dublin Airport recently,” they said.

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

“Regrettably, this did not happen on the day in question. We offer a full apology to the passenger and can assure her that steps have been taken to ensure a similar situation is…

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