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03 Dec 2021

Limerick TD 'sets record straight' over controversial Shannon comments

Limerick TD accused of lacking in support of Shannon Airport

Finance Minister Pascal Donohoe debated with Limerick TD Richard O' Donoghue over the Finance Bill in the Dáil on Wednesday, November 3.

A LIMERICK TD has grounded accusations that he is against investment in Shannon and the aviation sector.

Last week, Clare Senator Martin Conway issued a media release, saying that citizens of the area “should be alarmed” about recent remarks made by Deputy Richard O’ Donoghue’s in the Dáil.

The North Clare representative stated that the Limerick TD “played down supports” given to the industry when pointing out that the sector is exempt from carbon tax during a debate on the Finance Bill on Wednesday, November 3.

In response, Deputy O’ Donoghue, who made history by becoming the first Independent TD in County Limerick last year, remarked that the comments were taken “completely out of context.”

“The comments were in relation to Climate Justice for Agriculture and the importance of all sections of industry being in a position to play their part. I said that the aviation Industry were exempt from Carbon Tax and what this meant to the Aviation industry as a whole,” he said.

During the Dáil debate, Finance Minister Pascal Donohoe responded to the Limerick TD, saying his comments on aviation were “perhaps the most extraordinary I have heard made by a Deputy in Limerick and the Mid-West in some time.”

He continued: “I hope those who work in Shannon Airport and who depend on a living from aviation in his county and region and who work in tourism, who are eager to see the return of international tourists to our shores and who recognise the value of aviation in doing that, heard Deputy O'Donoghue's comments this evening.”

When contacted by the Limerick Leader for an official response, Deputy O’ Donoghue put the record straight and reaffirmed his stringent support to the people of the region, saying:

“I have been a huge advocate for Shannon Airport which will be verified by the numerous times that I spoke on it in the Dáil over the past year and a half. My primary criticism has always been in relation to air traffic from Dublin airport not being dispersed to Shannon and regional airports who have the capacity.”

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