Motion to sell Aer Lingus shares passed in Dail

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

The Dail has passed a motion allowing the Government to sell its 25.1% share in Aer Lingus. Clare TD, Michael McNamara (below) voted against the motion and is likely to be expelled from the Labour Parliamentary Party
CLARE TD Michael McNamara is likely to be expelled from the Labour Parliamentary Party after he was the only Labour TD to vote against Government plans to sell off its stake in Aer Lingus.

CLARE TD Michael McNamara is likely to be expelled from the Labour Parliamentary Party after he was the only Labour TD to vote against Government plans to sell off its stake in Aer Lingus.

The motion was passed by 74 votes to 51 following a Dail vote shortly after 5 o’clock this evening.

Earlier, Deputy McNamara told the Dail that he does not have confidence in the guarantees which have been given by IAG chief executive, Willie Walsh, and that he was not prepared to take a gamble on the matter.

Speaking during a debate on the Government motion, he said that Aer Lingus has a mixed past when it comes to Shannon Airport. “Aer Lingus does not have a history of any commitment to Shannon except where it has been forced by the Government through the Government shareholding.”

Acknowledging the business acumen of Mr Walsh, the Clare TD said his primary responsibility is to IAG shareholders and not to Shannon or the Mid West region.

“It would be churlish at this stage to fail to acknowledge that Mr Walsh is one of the greatest Irish businessmen of his generation. His negotiation of this deal has been masterful, but his only duty is to his shareholders,” he said.

Speaking during the same debate, Limerick city TD Willie O’Dea urged the government not to proceed with a vote on the proposed sale of it’s 25.1% share in the former State airline.

“Any objective observer looking at the events that have transpired in this House and outside it in the past few days would be forced to conclude that there is collusion between IAG, Aer Lingus and the Government to bypass the public and the Oireachtas on this important decision,” he said adding that the matter should have been referred to the Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications for further discussion.

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