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Minister Varadkar will have to look again at funding for Regional Airports

8 June, 2011


While welcoming the stay of execution given by the Government for Galway, Waterford and Sligo regional airports, Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has said that Minister Leo Varadkar will have to revisit the issue again before the end of the year.

In response to an all-party lobby before yesterday’s meeting, Minister Varadkar reversed the massive cut inflicted by the previous administration and reinstated the operating grant for Galway and Sligo Airports until the end of 2011.

Senator Ó Clochartaigh said:

“Minister Varadkar must be given credit for listening to the real concerns of airport representatives and all of Galway’s TD’s and Senators together when we met with him last week. By speaking with one voice we were able to convince the Minister that this was a matter of strategic regional development and not one for political point scoring.

“I would be hopeful that a similar approach between now and the end of the year would be successful in securing vital funding to help withdraw the need for state intervention in a planned manner over the next few years so that these airports can deliver on the tourism and business potential of our regions in a self-sustaining manner.

“The team at the airport have made it clear that they can make the airport viable in a couple of years with interim state support. This will allow the area to develop its tourism and business initiatives and secure the 160 jobs that depend on Galway Airport. Not to reinstate this grant made no economic, social or strategic sense and it is good that the Government listened to all those that made a case for its retention.” ENDS

Caithfidh an tAire Varadkar féachaint arís ar mhaoniú do na hAerfoirt Réigiúnacha

Cé go bhfáiltíonn sé roimh an fhuascailt ó bhuille an bháis a thug an Rialtas d’aerfoirt na Gaillimhe, Sligeach & Port Láirge, deir an Seanadóir Trevor Ó Clochartaigh go mbeidh ar an Aire Iompar, Leo Varadkar, dul ag tóraíocht maoiniú arís sula mbeidh an bhliain caite.

Mar thoradh ar stocaireacht ilpháirtí a rinneadh air roimh cruinniú an lae inné d’iompaigh an tAire Varadkar an cinneadh tubaisteach a bhí glactha ag an Rialtas a chuaigh rompu siar agus thug an deontas reachtála ar ais d’aerfoirt na Gaillimhe & Shligigh go dtí deireadh 2011. ‘Caithfear creidiúnt a thabhairt don Aire Varadkar gur éíst sé leis an gcás macánta a chuir ionadaithe ón Aerfort agus gach duine de Theachtaí Dála agus Seanadóirí na Gaillimhe os a chomhair, nuair a bhuail muid leis an tseachtain seo caite. Mar gur labhair muid d’aonghuth bhí muid ábalta cur ina luí ar an Aire gur ceist forbairt regiúnach straitéiseach atá anseo seachas daoine a bheith ag iarraidh bheith ag scóráil pointí polaitiúla. Bhéinn dóchasach go n-éireoidh le feachtas den chineál céanna as seo go deireadh na bliana chun maoiniú a chinntiú go ceann cúpla bliain eile agus é a laghdú go céimniúil, nó go mbeidh an t-aerfort abalta seasamh ar a dhá chos féin, mar atá pleanáilte acu. Tabharfaidh sin seans do na haerfoirt seo na deiseanna atá ann ó thaobh forbairt gnó agus turasóireachta di a thapú chun borradh eacnamúil sna réigiúin a chuir chun cinn’, a deir Ó Clochartaigh.

‘Rinne foireann an Aerfoirt soiléir é gur féidir leis an Aerfort a bheith féinseasmhach taobh istigh de chúpla bliain le tacaíocht réasúnach stáit san idirlinn. Beidh seans ag an gceantar fostaíocht agus turasóireacht a chur chun cinn agus an 160 post atá ag brath ar an aerfort i nGaillimh a chaomhnú anois. Ní dhéanfadh sé ciall ar bith ó thaobh na heacnamaíochta, cúinsí sóisialta nó straitéise di gan an deontas seo a chur ar ais in áit agus is maith an rud gur thug an Rialtas aird ar na hargóintí sin agus orthu siúd a bhí ag troid ar son na haerfoirt seo’, a deir an Seanadóir Ó Clochartaigh.

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