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Government must take responsibility for mid western region - Doherty

5 October, 2007

Responding to confirmation from BMI that they do not intend to operate a Shannon Heathrow route Sinn Fein Regional Development Spokesperson, Senator Pearse Doherty has described the news as "no great surprise."

Speaking today Senator Doherty said:

"Whilst the decision by British Midlands not to open a Shannon Heathrow route is a blow to the mid west region it has come as no great surprise.

"The leaking of the 'BMI story' to the local media on the 28th August the day before a crucial cabinet meeting to discuss the issue can now be seen for the cynical political ploy by government that it was.

"It is unacceptable that government sits on its hands whilst the primary aviation connectivity of the mid west region is under threat.

"Sinn Féin warned at the time of the privatisation debate of Aer Lingus that the infrastructure of the country would be undermined by support of the proposal.

"We were assured by Government Ministers that the State's interests would be safeguarded. However this latest setback proves that they were either wrong or deliberately misled representatives of the house and indeed the people of Ireland.

"The bottom line is that the responsibility for ensuring proper balanced regional development lies with the Government." CRÍOCH

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