Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Dara Calleary has hit out at Fine Gael for refusing to commit to a long term financial programme for Ireland West Airport Knock. Despite local Government TDs consistently patting themselves on the back, the fact of the matter is Fine Gael has done nothing to secure the long term security of the airport.
Deputy Calleary commented, “Before the last General Election Enda Kenny promised to ‘do whatever he needed for Knock’ if he became Taoiseach, however, five years later that pledge has fallen flat. The Fine Gael leader has largely taken a back seat when it comes to bolstering the future of Knock Airport, only popping up for a photo shoot or route announcement. Instead of investing in a long term strategy for the airport, Fine Gael has only managed to secure smaller short term financing.
“In fact, if Enda Kenny had his way and the General Election had been held in November, there would have been no plan on the table for this important jobs and transport gateway. Government TDs were clamouring to take credit for a €600,000 investment before Christmas but Fine Gael’s commitment to the airport is most evident in the fact that the Transport Minister has only made one visit to Knock over the Government’s entire term in office.
“Ireland West Airport not only provides employment for over 100 people, it also brings hundreds of thousands of visitors to Mayo and the west coast every year. It is a major revenue resource for the west of Ireland and should be seen as a valuable asset. This Government has failed at every step along the way to fight for the future of the airport, when it secured a sweetheart deal for Shannon, Knock was effectively left behind.
“The people of Mayo do not want more of the same for the next five years. We want to see Ireland West Airport expanded and grown. It has more than proven its worth and should be given a multi-annual capital commitment to reaffirm its future”.