25 February 2021
By Mary Bermingham
Sinn Féin TD for Cork South Central, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire, today in the Dáil raised the ongoing lack of supports for the aviation sector and workers at Cork Airport, and called on the Government to urgently step up and support the Airport, before it’s too late.
De[uty Ó Laoghaire
“I am glad the Government have finally introduced legislation to bring about mandatory hotel quarantine. Of course, I recognise that the heightened measures and travel restrictions will mean an extension of the current challenges facing those working in the aviation section.
“I have been raising concerns about Cork Airport for several months now.
“There are about 2,200 jobs directly relying on Cork Airport, and another 10,000 indirectly. There are workers who are on the breadline, who are at the pin of their collars because of a lack of Government support.
“The Government need to realise the huge impact that these travel restrictions, whilst necessary, will have on airline workers, and must act swiftly to protect these workers and their families.
“Wage supports alone are not enough. The Government can’t continue to ignore the plight of aviation workers; they need payment breaks from borrowers, they need protection from credit rating impairment.
“They need tailored supports, especially for workers who are facing possible further job losses.
“I don’t understand why the €245million Connectivity Fund, which is currently sitting idle, is not being used by the Government to support the aviation sector and its workers.
“We all know that aviation will not go back to normal today or tomorrow. But, we also know that Cork will still need air travel after this pandemic, and these workers will still need to earn a living.
“If the Government does not pull their finger out and put a plan in place, Cork is at risk of losing its airport for good. The Government need to acknowledge that these challenges exist, and they need to put a plan in place, before it is too late for Cork.”