Cabinet meet to defuse Shannon row..

The first meeting of the Irish Cabinet since the Dáil rose at the start of the summer takes place today and as the RTÉ report says – “The Cabinet is expected to spend a considerable amount of time trying to find ways of defusing the political and economic head of steam in the mid-west.” That would be on this issue. And it’s being reported that the Taoiseach’s inter-departmental group are expected “to conclude that Shannon airport is already well connected internationally.” I’d suggest the suspension of this Minsk flight is unlikely to affect that assessment. And As this report notes, following the Cabinet meeting, the Department of Transport issued a statement Adds reminder of Fintan O’Toole’s article

Government met today and considered a memorandum on the withdrawal of the Aer Lingus Shannon/Heathrow service. The Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey TD outlined all of the background and circumstances relating to the decision and gave a report to Cabinet colleagues on the issue.

Government reiterated its deep disappointment at this decision taken by Aer Lingus which it emphasised is contrary to national aviation and regional development policy. Government also noted that this was a decision taken by the Executive and Management of Aer Lingus on commercial grounds. It was agreed that the Minister for Transport, on behalf of Government, would do all in his power to assist the Shannon Airport Authority to secure alternative London Heathrow services.