Transport Minister hiding behind Ceann Comhairle

October 14th, 2010 - Pat Breen

Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen said today (Tuesday) that it was no surprise that the Minister for Transport and Marine has refused to answer questions regarding Shannon Airport.

Deputy Breen recently tabled a question to the Transport Minister asking him “the efforts being made to address the decline in passenger traffic through Shannon Airport” however, his question was ruled out of order by the Ceann Comhairle who said that “The Minister has no official responsibility to Dail Eireann for this matter as it falls within the remit of the Dublin and Shannon Airport Authorities.”

“Minister Dempsey is hiding behind the Ceann Comhaire and effectively washing his hands for any responsibility for Shannon Airport. It is hardly surprising given the fact that he has a history of disappearing when the Airport has been most in need. It is not so long ago that he did his Houdini Act when our Heathrow Slots were being removed from the Region and it no thanks to Minister Dempsey that those Heathrow services have now been restored, but it is thanks to the sacrifices of the Aer Lingus workers at the Airport.”

“There is genuine anxiety out there among the general public regarding the future of the Airport and this was expressed recently by the 13,000 signatories which the three businessmen here in Ennis collected on an online petition. For Minister Dempsey to wash his hands of the Airport is just not good enough.”

“This is a very difficult and challenging time for the Airport. There is a demand in this Region for short haul services from Shannon Airport and this was confirmed this week when Aer Arann announced that they a2