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Crowe demands reversal of decision to privatise Aer Lingus

27 April, 2006

Speaking today after the publication of Sinn Féin’s submission to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport regarding the proposed privatisation of Aer Lingus, Sinn Féin Transport spokesperson Seán Crowe TD demanded that the Government “immediately reverse their decision to privatise Aer Lingus.”

Deputy Crowe Said, “Sinn Féin has been consistent in our opposition to the privatisation of Aer Lingus and remains the only political alternative that has been coherent on this issue. While Fianna Fáíl councillors have supported anti-privatisation motions, Fianna Fáil ministers have pushed for the sale of Aer Lingus. The ‘grand coalition’ of Labour and Fine Gael has been exposed as unworkable, with Labour rejecting privatisation while their potential government bedfellows Fine Gael are pushing for a speedy sale of our national airline.

 “The Minister for Transport Martin Cullen has once again proved arrogant on this issue, railroading through the privatisation of the airline, an airline that we the people own, while ignoring the fears of Aer Lingus workers regarding job security and pensions.

“The government is pushing the privatisation agenda to enrich their high-flying friends at the expense of the greater common good. It is an indictment on this Government that they have failed to learn from previous high profile privatisation disasters such as the privatisation of Rail in Britain and Aer New Zealand and, in Ireland, the privatisation of Eircom.

“What we need is an all-Ireland approach for the airline and airport services. Aer Lingus is a state asset and not a liability. We the taxpayers in this state own the airline; it is making money for us all while serving our island’s national strategic interest. We want it to remain in Ireland. Aer Lingus is unquestionably a successful airline, producing a profit of €72 million last year.

“On this the 70th anniversary of Aer Lingus, all progressive forces should be fighting tooth and nail for Aer Lingus to remain in public ownership, our ownership. This theft of our national airline must not be allowed to proceed. The Government must immediately reverse their decision to privatise Aer Lingus.” ENDS

Sinn Féin have organised a public meeting regarding the privatisation of Aer Lingus in the Carnegie Court Hotel, Swords, Tuesday 23rd may, 7.30pm, all welcome

Speakers: Seán Crowe, Sinn Féin TD and Michael Halpenny of SIPTU

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