A video appearing to show Michael O’Leary being assaulted by a crowd of disgruntled Ryanair customers turned out in fact to be the latest iteration of the Ice Bucket Challenge. Airline employees grinned and squealed as they drenched the low-cost carrier’s CEO with fourteen buckets of ice water outside their Dublin HQ today, raising €10,000 (£8,000) for the Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation.
The Ice Bucket Challenge is a viral craze in which celebrities nominate each other to have a bucket of the cold stuff thrown over them in order to raise money for charity, and then share the video on social media. It was popularised this summer on Twitter by onetime Boston College baseball player and Motor Neurone Disease sufferer Pete Frates, and has already claimed David Beckham, Simon Cowell, Mark Zuckerberg and George W. Bush as ‘victims’.
‘I want to curse Patrick Kennedy and Paddy Power for nominating me,’ O’Leary said, before himself nominating Willy Walsh of IAG, Alexandre de Juniac of Air France and Carsten Spohr of Lufthansa to do the same. ‘You can’t match our fares,’ he said, ‘you can’t even freeze your fares. The least you can do is freeze your nuts.’
Overcome with joy at having completed the charitable challenge, or possibly just suffering the aftereffects of some form of hypothermic shock, O’Leary then briefly mounted a passer-by before running off in his bare feet. See for yourself.