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Ben Whitehurst, Gavin Sides and Colin Zwirko were denied entry into Ireland

'We learned the hard way,' say Plano 3 backpackers

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Ben Whitehurst, Gavin Sides and Colin Zwirko were denied entry into Ireland

"We learned the hard way!'

So says Texan backpacker Colin Zwirko who was one of three friends denied entry to Ireland last week.

"We recognize now that we were less prepared than we should have been," Zwirko said.

The trio, Colin Zwirko, 21, Gavin Sides, 19, and Ben Whitehurst, 21, 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 in Ireland when they were unable to provide an address or proof of funds.

The trio now hope to return as they have been inundated with offers of help in Ireland.

First off the mark was Anthony Kelly of D4 Hotels which has offered the trio an all-expenses trip to make up for the "misunderstanding."

"They are a going to get a massive Irish welcome... We might give them a pint of Guinness when they arrive," he said.

"Tourism is and always has been a major part of our economy, and Ireland has always been one of the premier destinations in the world for American tourists," Kelly said.

"We need them to continue to come to Ireland and we enjoy it when they come here."

"It seems like we won sweepstakes or something," said Zwirko. "Obviously, we are going to bring what they required of us the first time."

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