Ferris Slams Decision to Close Shannon Heathrow Link
Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris has slammed the decision by Aer Lingus to close the link between Shannon and Heathrow. The North Kerry deputy was speaking on a motion on Aer Lingus in the Dáil today and highlighted the affect which the closure of the link would have on employment in Kerry and the region generally.
Deputy Ferris said: "The disastrous situation in Aer Lingus has arisen because of Fianna Fáil's decision to privatise our former national airline. The blame lies solely at their door and this government motion is of scant consolation to those in the mid-west region who will be affected by loss of employment, damage to tourism, and lack of access to Heathrow which is one of the world's most important transport hubs.
"This will have a detrimental impact on many industries in which the Shannon-Heathrow link is crucial to their ability to sell their products. With unemployment in North Kerry already above the national average this will worsen the situation.
"Fianna Fáil is only paying lip-service to balanced regional development. At the very least the government should exercise its strength as a key share-holder in Aer Lingus by demanding that the company immediately reverse its decision to close the Shannon to Heathrow route.
"Sinn Féin were the only party to proactively oppose privatisation by putting forward a Private Members motions calling for Aer Lingus to be retained in public ownership. Fianna Fáil and pro-Government Independents opposed that motion.
"I fully support the trade unions' call for the decision to be reversed and for the Government to exercise its 25% share-holding in the national interest to ensure that the company is made change its mind." ENDS