Limerick Sinn Féin TD, Maurice Quinlivan, has welcomed the Shannon Group announcement that it intends to transfer its heritage businesses to the control of the local authorities.
Reacting to the news, the Sinn Féin TD stated: “I believe this to be a very positive step by Shannon Group. Shannon Group has responsibility for Shannon Airport, the Heritage sites, and the Shannon Commercial properties. This move will allow Shannon Group to focus near exclusively on the task of ensuring that Shannon Airport can remain a viable International airport.”
“The Covid-19 pandemic and a slow government response to the crisis at the airport have exacerbated the challenges that Shannon Airport faces. The pandemic has grounded many passenger flights, staff have been forced to avail of government subsidies, there has been job losses and a threat to the important connection flights, especially those to London Heathrow and the US, that are available from the airport. These are daunting challenges that need the full focus of the Shannon Group.”
“The aviation industry has been one of the most heavily impacted industries and remains in a perilous state. The Shannon Group focus must be on ensuring that strategic routes from the airport are maintained and this decision goes some way towards ensuring that the necessary resources can be directed at this daunting task.”
The Shannon Group will be transferring King John’s Castle and its employees to Limerick City and County Council. The Heritage sites in Clare and will be transferred to Clare County Council. It is envisaged that these transfers will be completed by the end of 2021.
Deputy Quinlivan continued: “I welcome this decision and the commitment to ensuring that the employment rights and terms and conditions of employment will be unaffected. This is of vital importance and should give confidence to the employees at these sites that this transfer will not adversely impact their pay and conditions.
“It is important that Shannon Group now engages with employees and their representatives to ensure that the transition process is as smooth as possible.”
Concluding his remarks, the Sinn Féin TD added: “Shannon Airport remains the golden goose of the mid-west economy. It is important that the crisis at the airport is averted so that both it and the wider mid-west economy can be protected.”