Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 18 February 2015
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Public Service Oversight and Petitions
Use of Irish Airspace and Landing Facilities: (Resumed) Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport
The Deputy referred to the fact that we turned down 19 applications. I would see it slightly differently to him because the fact that 19 were turned down is evidence that we do take that responsibility seriously. We look at broad considerations in this respect. We have an input from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which is important in our deliberations. In addition, my own primary objective is the safety of aircraft when in Irish air space and our jurisdiction generally.
The Deputy asked whether investigations have taken place concerning allegations of extraordinary rendition. As an example, we have participated in such investigations that took place at the Council of Europe.
As I stated, this is one of nine countries the participation of which was deemed to be sufficient and adequate. If anybody has reasonable evidence that these assurances are being broken in any way, such information should be supplied to the Garda.
I will return to the point with which I began - last year we turned down 19 applications for the use of civil aircraft in Irish airspace.