25 October 2001 Edition

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Government and EU must act for Shannon

Urgent governmental action is required to support the Shannon area, amid the continuing decline in the airline industry that has followed the 11 September attacks on the US, Shannon Sinn Féin has warned.

The local Terence McSwiney cumann issued a statement this week forecasting that, without government intervention, the attacks will have serious implications on the local workforce. Criticism was leveled at EU policies and what the cumann terms "a lack of positivity when it comes to their own policy of regional development".

"Shannon Airport is the lifeline of the entire Midwest Region and its importance to the whole western seaboard cannot be overemphasised, nor can its possible downgrading be allowed," the statement said.

"The government must take whatever steps necessary to safeguard as many jobs as possibly can be saved, irrespective of EU policy. We believe the Midwest Region will be permanently damaged should Shannon Airport lose its status of being a Transatlantic Airport."

The cumann also warned that the Board of Aer Lingus must not be allowed to "punish" Shannon Airport and the locality in its rationalisation plan to safeguard the airline.

"Most of the flights from Shannon to the US have been profitable for Aer Lingus and we believe any knee-jerk reaction from the company would be proven to be foolhardy in terms of the company's future," it said.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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