26 May 2005 Edition
Crash landing for Aer Lingus
We don't when, how or to whom, but Aer Lingus is up for sale. We do know why. The Fianna Fáil/Progressive Democrats Government are unable to run the national airline, unable to develop an all-Ireland strategy for the airline industries which covers not just airlines, but includes airports, service companies, engineering and aeronautical industries, hotels and related industries.
An ideological schism has emerged between the coalition partners and Bertie Ahern, socialist in the summer, asset stripper from winter to spring, has spent the months since last October seeking to find a halfway house for dealing with Aer Lingus and the issue of developing Irish airports.
So in true coalition style, they reached a compromise on the airport development issue that might satisfy trade unions, though the jury is still out, and a deal on Aer Lingus that satisfies the PDs, but not the Aer Lingus workers.
This week, Sinn Féin has used its Private Members Time in Leinster House to give elected representatives their first chance to actually have a debate on privatisation.
In An Phoblacht today, we include a summary of the arguments not to sell Aer Lingus and some edited extracts from the Dáil contributions that were led by Transport spokesperson Seán Crowe.