TMCnet News

Ashes go missing on Ryanair flight
[August 19, 2006]

Ashes go missing on Ryanair flight

(The Irish Times Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) An urn containing a man's ashes has gone missing after being put on a flight from Cork to Gatwick airport in London earlier this week.

His widow, who had travelled from Australia to Ireland with the ashes, is said to be distraught after the urn went missing last Monday.

Cork-born Eileen Grufferty emigrated 38 years ago to Melbourne, where she married her husband James, who came from Britain. He died on July 26th, 2005, in Australia.

Mrs Grufferty (69) travelled to Cork on the first anniversary of her husband's death last month to spend some time with family. While in Ireland she spread half of her husband's ashes at a special ceremony at Croagh Patrick.

A burial service for the remaining ashes was due to take place in her husband's native Epsom in Surrey today.

Mrs Grufferty placed her husband's ashes in her luggage last Monday morning and checked them in at the Ryanair desk at Cork airport. She assumed she would not be able to carry the urn in her hand luggage because of the new security procedures in place following the uncovering of the London terrorist plot. When she got off the lunchtime flight from Cork to Gatwick she went to the carousel to retrieve her Samsonite bag only to discover it had gone missing.

She filled in various pieces of paperwork and stayed at the airport for 2 hours before leaving to stay with a cousin.

Her Cork-based brother, Noel Gregg, said his sister had received little in the way of feedback in relation to the missing ashes over the last five days. She has logged dozens of calls with customer service in the UK and Mr Gregg has also been in contact with the Dublin division of Ryanair.

Mr Gregg said it was disappointing to have to spend hours on the phone trying to get through to customer service only to ultimately be directed elsewhere. "We are not getting anywhere. Ryanair are 100 per cent aware that the case contains her husband's ashes. Eileen travelled from Australia to Singapore, Singapore to Amsterdam and Amsterdam to Cork and all her luggage came with her. Then she goes from Cork to London and it disappears. It is really traumatising."

A spokesman for Ryanair said the company planned to do everything in its power to find the missing case.

Copyright 2006 Irish Times. Source: Financial Times Information Limited - Europe Intelligence Wire.

[ Back To's Homepage ]