The Plano 3 are back in Ireland!
Colin Zwirko, 21, Gavin Sides, 19, and Ben Whitehurst, 21, celebrated their arrival back in Ireland with a pint of Guinness at the Dubliner Bar in the Ballsbridge Inn in Ballsbridge today,
The three backpackers sailed through immigration this morning after being turfed out earlier this month.
“The best we had hoped for was that we might get our flights refunded,” said Colin. “So we really can’t believe our luck! What started as a backpacking trip has turned into the holiday of a lifetime!”
This time they made sure they had their bank statements with them; and, more importantly, they had the address of a place to stay - the Ballsbridge Inn and Towers courtesy of D4.ie Hotels.
The Irish hotel chain paid for their flights back to Ireland and has put them up in luxury accommodation in The Ballsbridge Towers.
The hotel has also given them €1,000 ($1,400) spending money as part of a hospitality package worth over €9,000.00. (US $12,500.00)
“Now more than ever, we need to be encouraging people to come to Ireland,” said Anthony Kelly of D4Hotels.ie. “I look forward to raising a glass with them to toast the success of their European adventure.”
Speaking from Dublin today, D4 Hotels General Manager Sarah Curran said the hotel was delighted to see the trio back in Ireland.
"We heard of their plight last week and we just had to help," said Sarah.
"Ireland is known for its hospitality and we thought it was important to help these three young lads out.
"We will be putting them up here for the week and then they're on their way across Europe."
The trio arrived early this morning to a huge media presence at the airport and then made their way to the hotel in Ballsbridge.
And they've picked a good location for their stay - the American Embassy is just across the street!
The three were sent packing on June 3 after they failed to show the proper documents on arrival at Irish immigration.
"We learned the hard way!' said Zwirko after they were put on a plane back to America.
"We recognize now that we were less prepared than we should have been," he said.
The tenacious trio had arrived in Dublin on July 3 intending to make Ireland the first stop on a year-long trip across Europe.
However, they were shown the door when they were unable to provide an address or proof of funds.