Long before Homeland Security and queues at airport scanners there were two Irish school boys chatting away. They would really like to see their TV hero B A Baracus they agreed. As kids all manner of good and bad things can go through your head but you are sort of stuck with the limitations of size and wallet. However Keith Byrne,10 and Noel Murray,13, went for it. It was August 1985.
Their homes were in Darndale, Dublin. Mr T, who played a character from the smash TV series A Team, must be in America they thought. To them it was simple and scale did not probably feature in their thinking. They got on a train and headed for Dún Laoghaire which is on Ireland’s east coast. They had told their folks they were just going out to play. They had agreed they would not go far. Then again what is far depends on your point of view. Is a mile far or is several thousand?
They got on a ferry to the Welsh port of Holyhead and dodged showing a ticket, they got on a train to Heathrow Airport without showing one either. At the airport they asked a passing stranger where he was going and he said New York. They followed on at a distance and got to the Air India desk. In a stroke of nerve and genius they told the clerk their parents were right behind them and astoundingly ( in our day anyway) they got on the plane.
The story ended there. After travelling unchallenged on an mostly empty flight they asked a cop which way was it to ‘ Get into Town.’
The game was up.
They didn’t get to see B A Baracus ( Mr T) they did get put up in a hotel and according to their words were ‘Fed like lords.’
The A Team Intro. B A Baracus is the guy with the mohawk hair cut and bling
All the above is according to the Irish Times article linked below. The New Yorker goes further.
After arriving in New York they ducked around a security checkpoint and ran into the terminal. Eventually they walked outside and a cop approached them. They tried to say their mother was going to meet them in town. The officer, Kenneth White, was not buying it. He placed them in a patrol car and off to the police station they went. They admitted what they had done in the end and police made a few calls.
Air India put them up in a hotel and assigned security guards to them. These guards were good to the lads, doubtless impressed by their feat. They showed them New York and bought them souvenirs.
There was a bit of a hitch. In June 1985 an Air India flight from Montreal to London and beyond was blown out of the sky by a bomb loaded in Canada. So were the boys part of some plot using juveniles? In fairness to the authorities 329 people died on that flight and it came apart in the sky 120 miles off the Irish coast.
Further checking established the lads had nothing to do with it and they were returned home. It later transpired the bombing was carried out by a Sikh separatist terror group.
A Nice Story, But What Is The Relevance To This Website?
We feature missing persons stories. We only do so when they are believed to have been killed or abducted. Every now and then we come across a tale that is more fiction looking than real looking. This is probably the happiest such yarn we have seen.
The lads could have just as easily met the wrong person on the way to London or if they had escaped into New York. They might have become a story on here like those we usually cover. If so what would the Irish police have had to work on?
They would have looked for witnesses, suspicious cars and people. All the while something may have befallen the kids hundreds or thousands of miles away. This is, to us, a lesson. One with a rare happy ending.
In any case we need to remember that anything can happen and every possibility should be looked at. Unless a person is found then no conclusions can be drawn.
Here is a trailer for a documentary about their adventure.
Good on the lads.