In a Dáil exchange last week, I questioned the government on what issues were holding up the development of a Lynx Cargo facility at Shannon Airport.
This facility could have enormous added benefit to the Mid-West region and help create and sustain jobs.
The Lynx Cargo Facility has been several years in the pipeline. I came across a press release recently from Shannon development in 2004 highlighting the advantages of such a facility for Shannon and the Mid West. So for government to now suddenly realize that EU Competition or other such issues need to be addressed it a bit rich.
It goes back to a question of political will. We know that the cargo facility could have enormous benefit for the region. The Mid West Taskforce Chairman has identified it as a key for the area. When I asked the Taoiseach directly last week what the hold up was, his answer was more kicking for touch. He is basically saying the government is going to sit on its hands and do nothing for an unspecified period of time. What’s needed is political will and financial investment. The Taoiseach said that they will assess how the current pre-clearance facilities operate and then decide. Yet as far back as 2004, government agencies on the ground have highlighted the need for this facility.
This kicking for touch by government is further example of how out of touch they are with the needs of this region. I am calling on all Clare TDs to again apply pressure on government for funding towards this facility as soon as possible.
See below extract from last Wednesday’s Order of Business-
Deputy Joe Carey:
“The Government is putting forward the view that EU competition legislation is the reason for the Lynx cargo project delay at Shannon Airport. Has the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste or the Minister for Transport discussed this at EU level to progress the project forward? Is legislation required?
The Taoiseach: No pre-clearance facilities that go beyond aircraft passengers to include cargo pre-clearance are being used by the United States at present. Seeing how the present pre-clearance arrangements work will be a factor in any consideration that
might be given to any widening of them. There are many issues that would be involved so instead of raising or dampening expectations, we must allow the present facility, which is working well, to gain confidence. We can then see where other possibilities might go.