Date Published: 17-May-2011
By Denise McNamara
Galway Airport will have to draw up a new business plan which requires substantially less Government funding – or close.
That’s the stark warning from Fine Gael TD Brian Walsh after Transport Minister, Leo Varadkar indicated there was no new funding available to keep the six regional airports open.
Galway Airport insists that it needs €1.7m to cover its operating costs. In a last-ditch bid to persuade the Minister to continue the same level of State support, the Carnmore facility will focus on it being a vital access link for Galway’s cluster of multinationals and the income it generates in the local economy in its submission to the Department this week.
However Deputy Walsh said the airport should concentrate on drawing up a new business model and cutting costs further if it is to secure any more funding. Subsidies of €1.7m were out of the question, he reiterated.
Minister Varadkar met with the airport management on Friday to listen to their case for continuing with the subsidies. Yesterday (Monday), it was reported that whatever financial support he could raise within his department would go to the airports which are regarded as being “closer to viability” – namely Knock, Kerry and Donegal.
Galway Airport Managing Director Joe Walsh said it made no sense for the Government to discontinue its funding from an economic point of view.
“We are the third largest city in the country with significant clusters in live sciences, ICT and what’s likely to be a gaming cluster. We are part of the foreign direct investment toolkit, we are critical infrastructure in terms of multinationals,” he stressed.
“It’s been established by independent sources that there’s an economic impact associated with Galway Airport in excess of €31m based on 2009 figures. Another independent report attributes 17,000 jobs in the city and county to the access provided by Galway Airport.
“There’s no getting away from it, we are a cost to the exchequer, but by taking away air access it will take away jobs. It doesn’t make sense.”
For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.
Appeal for information following Portumna crash
Date Published: 08-May-2013
Gardai are appealing for witnesses following a single vehicle crash at the Portumna bridge this morning.
The road from Nenagh to Loughrea reopened shortly after 11 this morning following the completion of a technical exam.
Four men were travelling in a van when they hit the Portumna bridge around 6:30 this morning.
Gardaí, ambulance and two units of Portumna fire services rushed to the scene, and one of the men was taken to Portiuncula hospital in Ballinasloe.
He is being treated for head injuries, which have been described by Gardaí as serious.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Portumna Garda station on 09-097-42060
President Higgins among GMIT’s first ever honorary fellowships
Date Published: 10-May-2013
GMIT is to honour seven outstanding individuals including President Michael D Higgins with Honorary Fellowships at a special ceremony later this month.
It’s the first time in the 40 year history of the Institute the Governing Body of GMIT has decided to award honorary fellowships.
The GMIT Honorary Fellowships will be conferred at the g Hotel in the city this day two weeks Friday 24 May at 2.30pm in front of 200 invited guests.
Galway commuters hold their breath as LRC intervenes in bus strike
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Galway commuters are holding their breath as there has been a potential breakthrough in the Bus Eireann dispute, as both sides have agreed to talks at the Labour Relations Commission.
The LRC intervened this afternoon, on day two of strike action that has seen 95 per cent of bus services disrupted across the country.
The LRC’s Director of Conciliation Services, Kevin Foley, says the National Bus and Rail Union and the company have agreed to meet for mediated talks at 8 this evening.