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Island population depends on retaining Aran Island air services – Matt Carthy

25 April, 2014 - by Matt Carthy MEP

Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy is visiting the Aran Islands today as part of his European election campaign.

Carthy is spending time in each of the 15 counties of Midlands Northwest and believes that it is also vital that the views of those voters resident on islands off the west coast are heard.

The European Candidate flew out to Inis Mór this morning and noted the vital services that Aer Aran Islands provides to the people of Inis Mór, Inis Meáin and Inis Óirr.

Cllr Carthy said:

“There is much concern among residents of the Aran Islands that the Public Service Obligation for the Aran air services will be cut or scrapped when up for renewal in August.

“This service provides an important link for the residents who use it regularly for work, health, education and general subsistence.

“More than anything though the service provides peace of mind for the residents. The effects of social isolation in rural and peripheral areas has been plain to see in other parts of the country. For islanders though this increases ten-fold, especially during the winter when frequent storms mean travelling by sea is impossible.

“It is critically important for the future of the islands that this service is retained. Put simply if the flights were to be axed we could be faced with depopulation of the islands as a whole.

“I am looking forward to my engagements with the people of the Aran Islands today. It is clear that there is a wealth of talent and community spirit out here that, harnessed properly, has huge potential for tourism as well contributing to the cultural diversity of the west coast as a whole.”

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