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Councillor John Crowe: "We should be telling Dublin Airport, 'We told ye so!'"

Councillor says we should be telling Dublin Airport ‘I told ye so’


DUBLIN Airport officials have been told they should be careful what they wish for, after unprecedented overcrowding at the facility in recent weeks.

At the May Council meeting, a joint motion from Councillors Daly, Crowe, Begley, McMahon, Killeen, O’Gorman and Keating, called on the Department of Transport to divert spare capacity to Shannon Airport. “Dublin has clearly been unable to cater for what it has while Shannon needs more passengers,” the motion outlined. 

Councillor Pat Daly outlined that he had recently met a woman from County Offaly at Shannon Airport. “She thought it was brilliant,” he said. “That shows we should be marketing to the Midlands. It’s only and hour and half from Ennis.”

Councillor John Crowe said, “We should be saying I told ye so. Dublin wanted it all for the last 20 years. They got it all and they cant deal with it.  For a short-haul flight, you have to be there between two and three hours ahead; for long haul, it’s three to four hours. They cant cater for the queues. We have the capacity to cater.

“The Department should be ashamed. It should be an all-Island approach. Were an island country. This is a great tool to beat them with. We should drive it to the hilt. It is a disgrace that people should have to queue for hours. Everything up there is up in a heap. This is a golden opportunity because the thing has fallen back in their face.”

Councillor Michael Begley said that when the same point was made at an All-Ireland Local Government (AILG) meeting, there was a round of applause from every member west of Kildare. “We should submit this motion to all local authorities to make people aware of what Shannon can offer,” he said.

Councillor Pat McMahon said the major deficit for Clare was the lack of a senior government  minister. “That is the root of a lot of problems including Shannon Airport and University Hospital Limerick (UHL), he said. 

Councillor Joe Killeen said he was always of the view that tourism in Ireland is biased towards Dublin Airport. “Every effort made to direct tourists to Dublin,” he said. “There are busses lining up at Dublin hotels to take tourists to Clare and back again for dinner in the capital. It is time to put pressure on government to redress the balance. 

Councillor Pat O’Gorman added that aviation policy has to change. “We have everything in Shannon,” he said. “We need policy to change.”

Councillor Clare Colleran Molloy said that, for Dublin Airport, it was a case of “be careful what you wish for”. 

Councillor Joe Garrihy said some kind of quota system should be put in place. “We need favourable discrimination to balance tourism,” he said.

Councillor Daly said it would be a great idea to seek support on the matter from all local authorities west of Kildare.

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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