The new Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan, is “considering” a wide range of financial supports for Shannon Airport.
Deputy Joe Carey, who is also the chair of the all-party Shannon Airport Oireachtas Group, raised the ongoing challenges facing the airport with Minister Ryan in the Dáil.
The Clare TD also called for Shannon Heritage sites, including Bunratty Castle, Knappogue Castle, Craggaunowen, Dunguaire Castle and King John’s Castle to be provided with support to allow them to remain open for the whole year.
Deputy Carey said: “These attractions bring people to Clare and the Mid-West. It is crazy and ridiculous that the Shannon Group would close these sites, especially when we are pushing the whole idea of staycations.
“There is a major opportunity here: We simply need to embrace and support it. I appealed to the Minister to do precisely that.”
Deputy Carey told Minister Ryan in the Dáil: “We need state aid now, and we need the Minister to roll up his sleeves in the interests of the mid-west and Shannon Airport.”
In his response, Minister Ryan said he was aware of devastating effect of Covid-19 on the aviation industry “and the Shannon Group in particular”. The minister said he will “consider” financial supports “and any other measures that may be necessary and appropriate as part of a wider review of the Shannon Group”. He added he would be bringing recommendations in relation to Shannon to the Government “in due course”.
Deputy Carey also strongly urged Minister Ryan to back the Shannon Group’s proposal for more funding to keep vital heritage sites throughout the year .