A plane transporting Taoiseach Michael Martin and other passengers from Dublin to New York yesterday evening was forced to turn back after the aircraft was struck by a bird shortly after take-off.

Micheal Martin was travelling to the UN General Assembly.

The Aer Lingus flight left Dublin around 5pm yesterday en route to JFK Airport, before returning 90 minutes later at 6.30pm.

The jet is believed to have experienced a vibration in its right-hand engine after the bird strike.

A spokesperson for Aer Lingus yesterday evening  said flight EI107 operating from Dublin to New York JFK was required to turn back when the aircraft experienced a bird strike shortly after take-off.

"The aircraft landed safely at Dublin Airport and all customers and crew safely disembarked.

"We plan to operate the flight later this evening on a replacement aircraft."

The airline apologised to customers for any inconvenience caused by the delay.

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