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Minister and management must secure 40 Aer Árann jobs immediately – Ó Clochartaigh

26 September, 2015

‘It is a welcome move that the Minister Joe McHugh has finally withdrawn the tender offer for the air service to the Aran Islands , but he must now immediately engage with Aer Árann Islands to secure the current service is maintained for the foreseeable future, along with the jobs of the forty people directly employed ’, says Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.

The Sinn Féin spokesperson for the Irish Language and the Gaeltacht said today:

“The tender process was flawed from the outset and the Minister should have taken this decision weeks, if not months ago.

“The workers in Aer Árann Islands, who provide the current service, have been served with redundancy notices which come into effect next Wednesday.

“I am calling on the owners of the company and the Minister to engage immediately to ensure that the current service and the jobs involved are maintained for at least the next year, as a short term agreement. We then need to secure the long term viability of the air service to Aran.

“It is a credit to the hard work of the campaigners from the Aran Islands and the broader community that the Minister has finally rolled back on what would have been a disastrous decision, but what must be done now is to ensure that a fixed wing air service, commensurate at least with the current level of provision, from the airport in Connemara, is guaranteed.

“The owners and the Minister must make sure that the redundancy notices are withdrawn immediately and  that Aer Árann Islands is given an appropriate contract, to maintain the service for a reasonable time period while the new tender process is worked out.

“The new tender must take the needs of the people of the Aran Islands, who are the primary users on board in a much more forthright manner, rather than the flawed methodology which was employed in this shambolic process which has now been discredited.

“It should have never been allowed come to this in the first place and the forces that have been working to have the air service to the Aran Islands scrapped need to be tackled head on so that they cannot be allowed to jeopardise the future of this vital lifeline for the people of Aran”.

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