Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Mayo Dara Calleary has described the allocation of funding for Ireland West Airport Knock only four days before the election as a cynical ploy to try and win back votes.

The outgoing TD explained, “While any funding announcement for Knock Airport is welcome, the manner in which Fine Gael have gone about its businesses is more than questionable.  The party has ignored the airport for the past five years, failing to commit to any long term plan for its future, and now only days before the election it decides to make a token gesture.

“This is deeply cynical and smacks of nothing more than election gimmickery.  Fine Gael allowed Knock airport to fall off the Government agenda.  The fact that it took Paschal Donohoe more than a year to visit the airport says all we need to know about how far up Knock is on the Government priority list.

“Fine Gael’s record on election promises does not inspire hope – Universal Health Insurance, free GP care for all and commitments on political reform have all fallen by the wayside.

“The value Knock Airport adds to the region and the capacity it has to contribute to our national economy is too important for it to be used at the whim of Fine Gael to shore-up votes as it sees fit.  Knock Airport needs a long-term, independent strategy that is free of political posturing and this will allow it to make a significant contribution in terms of tourism, investment and job creation”.