Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Dara Calleary says the Taoiseach must sideline the spin and honour the commitments he made about Ireland West Airport Knock. Enda Kenny made a promise before the 2011 General Election that he would ‘do whatever he needed for Knock’ if he became Taoiseach.
Deputy Calleary commented, “The time for talking is long gone and what we need to see from the Taoiseach is action, and a follow through on the commitments he gave to airport officials before he assumed office. Ireland West Airport Knock needs a cash injection in the upcoming budget in order to secure its survival and it is up to the Taoiseach and Minister Paschal Donohoe to deliver on pre-election promises.
“This airport proves its worth on a daily basis. It employs over 100 people and has seen more than 700,000 passengers pass through its doors this year alone. It brings millions of euro into the local economy and its benefits are felt right across the West and North West. It is a vital part of the tourism infrastructure in the region and its future must be secured.
“This Government needs to ensure that a funding allocation is announced for Ireland West Airport Knock in the Budget. There is considerable scope within EU state aid guidelines to allow for finance to be made available, and it is essential to the viability of the airport that both a capital fund and an operational fund are established and maintained.
“October 14th is D-day for Knock Airport. It’s more than three years since Enda Kenny promised to ‘sign any piece of paper put in front of him’ for the airport. Now is his chance to sign off on a budget which can secure the viability and future of Ireland West by allocating much needed funding. It is unbelievable that the Taoiseach – a Mayo deputy – has to be dragged kicking and screaming to support the airport. The time for talking is over; the Taoiseach must deliver on his promises”.