Breen hits back at remarks made by his Constituency Colleague Fianna Fail’s Deputy Timmy Dooley

March 12th, 2010 - Pat Breen

Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen has today hit back at remarks made by his Constituency Colleague Fianna Fail’s Deputy Timmy Dooley in last week’s edition of the Clare Champion when he dismissed claims of the lack of Governments marketing support as “utter nonsense”. Deputy Breen said that “instead of hiding behind the staff and management of Shannon Airport who have made huge sacrifices including taking significant pay cuts in face of serious challenges to the viability of Shannon Airport, that Deputy Dooley should be securing the €7m necessary Government investment for the Lynx Cargo Project.”

It is a bit rich to see his crocodile tears for Shannon Airport when one remembers that while I was meeting with two US Ambassadors Rooney & Foley and holding discussions with various US political Groupings at several Council of Europe Meetings and raising the issue by way of Adjournment Debate and parliamentary questions in Dail Eireann to press the case for Shannon Airport; Deputy Dooley was walking through the Government lobbies to vote down a Fine Gael Motion which would have restored the Aer Lingus Shannon Heathrow Service.”

“Among the many other failures of Deputy Dooley and this Government which he is a part of is their:

1. Failing to deliver on the €53m Tourism and Economic Plan which was promised in the wake of Open Skies. €3m was provided in 2008 for the “Discover Ireland’s Wonderful West” Campaign and in 2009 this figure was reduced to €2.05 million.



2. Introducing a €10 Air Travel Tax when Shannon Airport is suffering a dramatic decline in passenger numbers.


3. Failing to use their 25% shareholding in Aer Lingus to convince the airline of the merits of the US Pre Clearance facility.


4. Failing to deliver the €7 million investment required for the Lynx Cargo Project.




“To suggest that the Shannon Airport Authority can fund a major airline marketing campaign to promote the US Customs and Border Protection facility from within their own limited resources is unfair. It is not unreasonable to expect this Government to inject a sum of €200,000 for the next three years in marketing support.”

“This Government has supported a policy over the past ten years which has seen all roads lead to Dublin Airport at the expense of Shannon Airport and this Region. The Government just cannot wash their hands ‘pontius pilot’ like of their responsibilities in terms of balanced regional development; additional marketing support must come on stream this year; otherwise the true potential of this project will not be realised.