The latest rejection by the DAA of Ryanair’s proposal for additional services at Shannon Airport represents a missed opportunity for County Clare and the Mid-West Region.

Common sense and co-operation is needed between the DAA and Ryanair in order for this deal to work. It doesn’t serve the DAA or Ryanair well to be playing table tennis with press statements on this matter – real and meaningful negotiations would serve Shannon Airport much better.

It’s my understanding that a similar business arrangement to that on offer by Ryanair was entered into by the DAA at Dublin Airport. It would now appear from statements by both the airline and the DAA that such a deal cannot be extended to Shannon Airport.

The reality in the Mid-West Region is that we need to dramatically improve our passenger numbers at Shannon. Over the past two year passenger traffic has decreased dramatically which is having a devastating impact on business in the region.

We simply cannot afford to allow personalities get in the way of good business sense. There isn’t an Airport in Europe who wouldn’t be glad to have Ryanair’s business. Having said this, Ryanair too has a duty to enter into negotiations in a spirit of economic realism and co-operation. In any successful talks there is give and take on both sides.

I am calling on both Ryanair and the DAA to immediately re-engage in negotiations and make this deal work for Shannon Airport and the Mid-West Region. Everyone from taxi drivers to retail outlets, restaurant owners and B&Bs and the people they employ are dependent on a rejuvenated and resurgent Shannon Airport. We have a real chance to engage with Ryanair and move forward in a spirit of partnership. I am asking the DAA not to lose sight of the bigger economic picture.