[Sinn Fein]

7 February 2000

Aer Rianta sell-off a backward step

Sinn Fein's Martin Ferris has criticised Government plans to partially privatise Aer Rianta as a ``short-sighted, backward step''. Aer Rianta should be kept in State hands to maximise job growth, the Kerry County Councillor said.

``The proposed partial privatisation of Aer Rianta is one more example of the Dublin Government selling off profitable businesses that are also important economic assets.

``The success of Shannon, Cork and Dublin airports should be used as a platform to develop and upgrade other regional airport facilities around the 26 Counties.

``It now looks as if some of the profitable elements of Aer Rianta such as the Great Southern Hotel chain are to be sold into the private sector. The best way to secure the long-term success of Irish airports and to maximise the job opportunities there is to keep the assets in State hands.''

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