IDA Says High Quality Access Provided By Shannon-Heathrow Link Is Vital for West's Economy

From: Dunphy Public Relations
Published: Tue Sep 04 2007

The Industrial Development Agency (IDA) today said that the retention of a direct service from Shannon International Airport to London-Heathrow is critical to attracting multinationals to the Midwest region.

Addressing a meeting of the Mid West Regional Authority in Nenagh today, Ms. Maura Saddington, IDA West/Midwest Regional Director stated, "The IDA has received numerous representations from key businesses in the Region expressing concern over the potential loss of direct services to Heathrow. They have explained that high quality access is irreplaceable and remains key to maintaining their operations in the Midwest."

Ms. Saddington added, "High quality access, as provided by the service to Heathrow, plays an invaluable role in attracting new companies to the wider region. The IDA, therefore, backs calls from the business community in the Region for a retention of this vital service."

Meanwhile, the Mid West Regional Authority (MWRA) this evening passed a resolution calling on the Taoiseach and Minister for Transport to attend an emergency meeting of the MWRA. The Authority also said that any failure to reinstate the strategic route would lead to disastrous consequences for the West of Ireland's economy.

"Shannon International Airport's role as a key driver for economic, tourism and industrial development for the Western Region of Ireland will be undermined should the Shannon-Heathrow link be lost indefinitely", explained Ger Dollard, spokesperson for Mid West Regional Authority.

He added, "Millions of Euro has been invested in the Region's infrastructure requirements to ensure that Shannon International Airport's catchment area is expanded creating a vibrant market demand for air services. These efforts are now being undermined by Aer Lingus's axing of a direct link between the West of Ireland and the international hub at Heathrow, despite the service having achieving extraordinarily high-load factors."

"One of the core objectives of the current National Development Plan (NDP) 2000-2006 was an improved regional spread of economic activity within Ireland. The removal of direct access to London Heathrow is contrary to this Plan and, therefore, the Government must take every measure to ensure the retention of services between the airports. The Mid West Regional Authority is also calling on the Government to immediately make available the EUR53m plan promised to Shannon under the new Open Skies Agreement to assist promote the Mid West Region", concluded Mr. Dollard.

The Mid-West Regional Authority is one of the Republic of Ireland's eight statutory regions and comprises the administrative areas of Clare, North Tipperary & Limerick County Councils and Limerick City Council.

The Nenagh-based Authority has twenty-six elected representatives and has responsibility to promote the coordinated delivery of Public Services in the Mid-West Region. It is also Secretariat to the Government appointed Shannon Airport Marketing Consultative Committee (SAMCC).


Notes to Editor:
- Ger Dollard, MWRA is available for interview on 087-2240601.
- For further information please call Mark Dunphy of Dunphy PR at 086-8534900 or

Mark Dunphy
Dunphy Public Relations
County Clare
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Contact Name: Mark Dunphy
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