The Taoiseach Enda Kenny has strongly dismissed claims made in the Dail this afternoon that he had seen a secret internal report prepared by Aer Lingus which outlined the details of potential jobs losses as a result of the sale of the national airline.
Mr Kenny however has repeatedly stated in the Dáil the government’s decision to sell the State’s remaining 25% stake in Aer Lingus is the right and best decision for the nation. However, the move has come in for strong criticism from opposition leaders who say the decision is the wrong one and does not protect jobs.
One Independent TD Clare Daly had an angry outburst in the Dáil regarding the decision, Ms Daly a former Aer Lingus worker claimed what the Government was doing was “a new low”. Ms Daly said: “There was a time when people in the Labour Party said they stood for something different. The cheek of these people saying they would give commitments to airport pensioners.”
Meanwhile Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams also criticised the decision saying the guarantees the Government apparently have secured are worthless. Mr Adams said: “If this is a guarantee, then clearly you Taoiseach or Minister Donohoe should not be sent to the shop to buy a bottle of milk.”
Current Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin also had his say about the sale, Mr Martin made the internal report the vocal point to his argument saying a secret expert report issued by the NYRAS regarding the possible sale of the airline, clearly showed potential widescale job losses. Mr Martin said: “It talks about ground handling cuts of 20%, catering 40%, maintenance 15% and heavy maintenance, which would go to Eastern Europe, 25%.”
However the Taoiseach strongly dismissed suggestions that he nor his Cabinet had seen this report before making their decision. Mr Kenny said: “I did not see the report that you refer to, neither did the Minister for Transport see that report. It’s an internal Aer Lingus document.”