Last updated: 03:01 PM ET, Thu March 10 2016

Frustrated Passenger Strips in Protest of Security Delays

Impacting Travel | Donald Wood | February 22, 2016

Frustrated Passenger Strips in Protest of Security Delays

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

We've all felt a little stressed going through airport security, but one Irish woman in England became so frustrated by the process that she began to strip off her clothes before being arrested.

During the arrest, though, the woman claims police broke her arm.

According to, 29-year-old Eimear Ni Ghiallgairrh was traveling through London Stansted Airport en route to a job interview in Barcelona, Spain, when she began to deal with slow-moving security procedures.

READ MORE: Police Shoot Half-Naked Man with Stun Gun at Florida Airport

Frustrated by the delays, Ghiallgairrh reportedly took off her skirt and stripped down to her black tights before police stepped in and arrested her. It was during the arrest that the woman claims authorities broke her arm and then forced her to stay in a holding cell for 12 hours.

While Ghiallgairrh ended up pleading guilty to disorderly behavior and criminal damage, there are still two very different sides to the story.

Chelmsford prosecutor Karen Phillips told that Ghiallgairrh, “refused to be searched, became heated, got agitated and removed her skirt, standing in her tights. Members of the public around were distressed as she was undressing. She also banged on the desk angrily.”

READ MORE: Man Reportedly Strips Naked to Protest Overbooked Flight at Charlotte Airport

On the other hand, Ghiallgairrh’s accounts of the events were much different:

“I was becoming increasingly frustrated by the airport staff. A police officer came from behind me as I leant casually on the table; I turned around to hear him tell me to calm down. He said ‘you’re on drugs.’ I said I’m not on drugs. He said I shouldn’t talk to him like that because he had a machine gun. I asked why he would need to use a machine gun on me. He said that if I didn’t shut up he was going to arrest me. I asked ‘Why? What for?’ He aggressively handcuffed me and shouted ‘section four’ while lifting me up by my wrist, breaking my thumb as a consequence. I screamed in pain.”

As a result of the testimony and guilty plea, District Judge John Woollard fined Ghiallgairrh $300, but said, “I have to take into account the stress you were in which led to your behavior and the fact you were surrounded by thousands of other people also stressed.”


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