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Council backs reducing Dublin’s dominance of aviation

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CLARE County Council passed a motion calling for a change in national aviation policy at its June meeting.

It was proposed by Fine Gael’s John Crowe who said that Dublin’s dominance needs to be lessened. “As it stands Dublin can’t cope with the volume of passengers that it has.”

With Dublin having almost 33 million passengers in the year before the pandemic began, Councillor Crowe said there is plenty of scope for growth at Shannon.

“What would 10% extra do for Shannon? Balanced regional development, that’s what it’s all about.”

In recent years he said that 24 out of every 25 extra passengers to Ireland have come through Dublin, which he said is not sustainable, while the Sixmilebridge man said other countries have dealt with similar problems.

“In other EU countries where there was an overconcentration on one airport, steps were taken by Government to push connectivity at the regional airports, which has worked in many countries. This is our time now to push the Minister.”

Councillor Joe Garrihy said the current management at Shannon can’t succeed without a change of policy.

“There is nothing they can do unless national policy changes and unless we really mean putting into action what balanced regional development is about. ”

He also said that there are questions about how effectively the Mid West is being represented.

“It’s an obvious one but it seems to be very difficult to get it over the line,” the North Clare councillor concluded.

Cathaoirleach PJ Ryan said that the fact the region doesn’t have a senior minister means it is very difficult to see any policy advanced that would help Shannon.

However, he said he hoped that policy makers “will have learned a lesson from what happened in Dublin in the last few weeks.”

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.