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Northern Ireland football star sidelined after Egypt flight is cancelled

By Cate McCurry

Published 07/11/2015

Glenavon striker Eoin Bradley
Glenavon striker Eoin Bradley

Glenavon striker Eoin Bradley said he is gutted to be missing out on today's Irish League game after his flight home from Egypt was halted at the last minute.

Bradley, who has also starred in Derry GAA circles, is among the thousands of holidaymakers who are stranded in the Sharm el-Sheikh resort amid fears that a Russian plane crash last week was caused by a bomb.

Flights out of the Red Sea resort were suspended by Egyptian authorities as thousands of tourists arrived at the airport.

The footballer was moments from boarding his EasyJet flight to London when he learned it had been suspended for 24 hours, dashing all hopes of playing in his Irish League side's home game against Ballinamallard.

The 32-year-old plasterer, who jetted off last week with his girlfriend Emma O'Neill and two young children, said he is gutted to miss the game.

Speaking from his Sea Club Aqua Park hotel, the Derry man said: "It's disaster. They just told us that the flights were cancelled and that was it.

"We were at the airport queuing up to get through security and then it came through that we had to go back to the hotel because the flights weren't going ahead.

"We weren't on our own, there were loads of people waiting about and a lot of ones weren't happy, but sure what can you do?

"There was a lot of people shouting and giving off but it wasn't EasyJet's fault."

Thousands of frustrated holidaymakers have been trying to make their way home after it was announced on Wednesday that all flights between the holiday resort and the UK and Ireland were suspended.

The Metrojet Airbus A321 aircraft was flying from Sharm el-Sheikh to St Petersburg on Saturday when it crashed in the Sinai desert, killing all 224 people on board.

Bradley now hopes he will be able to return home this afternoon

"It's not an ideal situation as we just don't know for sure when we'll be home because they told us yesterday we would be leaving today but that wasn't the case.

"The kids are still happy and they are running about the resort and loving another few days.

"We will just have to wait here tomorrow until we get confirmation from the airport that we can go for whatever time.

"Glenavon will have to play on without me. Gary (Hamilton, Glenavon manager) isn't happy but I didn't expect this to happen and he'll understand."

A Londonderry woman, who is on holiday at the popular resort with her friend's family, hopes she will be able to return home next week as planned.

The 26-year-old from Limavady said: "My family at home got very worried when they heard the news about the delays and the potential bomb on board the plane.

"I started to panic myself that we would be stranded here for a long time. We are due to go home in the next week so hopefully everything will be resolved."

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