18 May 2021
By Elaine Murphy
Sinn Féin TD for Cork South Central, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire, today criticised the lack of action by the Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan TD, after Aer Lingus has announced further temporary lay-offs at Cork Airport for later this year.
Deputy Ó Laoghaire said:
“For months Sinn Féin have been calling for a survival and recovery plan for the aviation sector.
“We recognise the severe impact the necessary travel restrictions have had on the sector during the pandemic and we called for extra sector-specific measures to be put in place to account for this.
“The Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan has taken an unacceptable hands-off approach to aviation and the Government’s lack of action now risks costing jobs in Cork. We still have no commitment to long-term additional operational and capital funding for the airport.
“We should be keeping these workers on. I see no reason why Aer Lingus cannot keep these workers on the books, with the EWSS supporting them as required.
“They have a duty to their workers and they should stick to it.
“It is very worrying for the airport, for the region, but more importantly for workers and their families.
“The Minister for Transport must engage with Aer Lingus immediately to try and save as many jobs as possible, and to keep them employed for this period.
“Sinn Féin vigorously opposed the privatisation of Aer Lingus in 2015 by Fine Gael and Labour and we said it would cost jobs in the long run.
“Unfortunately, the decision to sell off this key state asset now severely weakens the Government’s hand in this situation – however I will be urging Aer Lingus to do the right thing here, keep on these workers.
“The Government needs to seriously wake up when it comes to aviation, it cannot recover without a plan and supports.”