Thursday, 15 October 2020
Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate
The Ryanair announcement that it is to reduce its winter schedule at Shannon Airport is yet another in the long list of blows to the mid-west economy. It will affect 155 staff at Shannon and Cork airports. The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection must ensure these workers are assisted promptly so they are not waiting weeks if they have to sign on as a result of the announcement. As the Minister is aware, the mid-west region and my constituency of Limerick City are hugely dependent economically on the connectivity afforded by Shannon Airport. Over 55,000 jobs are dependent on a viable airport in the region. While the Ryanair decision is a blow, it is not unpredicted. Dr. Catriona Cahill, chief economist with Limerick Chamber, said on "Morning Ireland" this morning that the Government must intervene now to provide supports and guidance. The Government has committed €5 million to the airport. Does the Minister not realise it is far too little and far too late? The ship sailed months ago. We need proactive and prompt action from the Government, but instead we are getting a reactive response that merely applies a plaster to a gaping wound.