Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport, Robert Troy has said that Minister Shane Ross needs to stop hiding behind the current investigation into the R116 accident and outline why he and his predecessors did not take steps to improve the safety on this and other aircraft.
Deputy Troy made the comments after it became known that the company that operates search and rescue services, on behalf of the State, knew for over five years that the life jackets on its helicopters were faulty.
“Minister Ross needs to come forward and stop hiding behind the fact that there is an investigation ongoing at present, and answer for what he knew, his Department knew, and what previous Ministers for Transport knew.
“The safety and wellbeing of those flying our search and rescue helicopters should always be a primary concern of the Government.
“If a Minister for Transport knowingly allowed pilots or other personnel go out on missions with faulty equipment, it is a very serious issue.
“These personnel are some of the bravest people working on behalf of the State. I don’t believe that they would make a complaint unless it was absolutely justified.
“The Minister and the Department need to come forward and explain how this issue lasted for five years,” concluded Troy.