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Aer Lingus offer only ‘a stay of execution’ – Adams

26 May, 2015 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has said IAG concessions in respect of Aer Lingus amount merely to a “stay of execution” on the Heathrow slots.

 Teachta Adams raised the issue with Taoiseach Enda Kenny in the Dáil today, after what he called “Government orchestrated leaks” about new commitments from IAG to the Government on the issue.

 Teachta Adams said:

 “This morning we saw Government orchestrated media leaks of new ‘commitments’ from IAG in its ongoing efforts to get the Government to sell off the state’s share in Aer Lingus.

 “It is clear however that the only ‘concession’ available is a stay of execution for the Heathrow slots.

 “Any assurances by IAG around access for Irish routes from Heathrow will only delay the inevitable loss of these slots to more profitable routes.

 “Losing these vital routes in six months, five years or later is still very bad for Aer Lingus, bad for the economy and bad for Ireland.

 “However, this is the fig leaf your Government has been seeking to further what has been your aim all along - the sell-off of the state stake in Aer Lingus.

 “Sinn Féin's position on Aer Lingus has been consistent. We opposed the original sell off of this key strategic asset by the previous Fianna Fáil Government. And we oppose any move by your Government to sell of the State's remaining 25% stake.”

 Adams asked Mr Kenny if this morning's Cabinet meeting discussed the issue of compulsory redundancies or outsourcing.

 He said:

 “Ireland is a small island nation and our economy needs consistent and secure air access.

 “The Government cannot jeopardise this by throwing away the links that Aer Lingus provides.

 “The future of Aer Lingus is vital to the economic future of Limerick, Cork and Belfast as well as Dublin.

 “The IAG proposals do nothing to prevent the loss of an estimated 1,200 jobs following any sell-off.

 “Any offers by IAG cannot guarantee long term access for Irish routes from Heathrow.

 “The inevitable loss of connectivity resulting from any sell-off of the Government's stake in Aer Lingus will have severe social and economic repercussions."

 The Sinn Féin Leader called on the Taoiseach to publish the full details of any proposals from IAG and commit to a Dáil debate on any Cabinet decision in respect of the future of Aer Lingus. 

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