Kenny: Aer Lingus deal the best for the nation

Kenny: Aer Lingus deal the best for the nation

The Taoiseach said he believes the Government has achieved the best deal for the country after agreeing to sell the State's share in Aer Lingus.

The Cabinet agreed last night to support the bid by International Airlines Group and it will be voted on in the Dáil tomorrow after a two-day debate.

Speaking at a Young Entrepreneur event in Dublin this morning, Enda Kenny said the Government has secured strong guarantees for selling its 25% stake.

"That deal is the best means of securing and enhancing this country's connectivity with the rest of the world, and maintaining a vibrant and competitive air transport industry," he said.

"It would best serve the interests of the travelling public, of Aer Lingus and its employees, the Irish tourism industry, and the Irish economy as a whole."

However, SIPTU's Divisional Organiser, Owen Reidy, said they will ask all TDs to oppose the deal unless there are further commitments for workers.

"If we cannot get a legal commitment [on outsourcing and compulsory redundancies] conditional on us cooperating with modernisation and change ... then the workers are being told you're not central to this project ... and that's not a runner at all," he said today.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin accused the Government of accused of 'a sleeveen approach' and of treating the Dáil with contempt.

The Dáíl's schedule has been delayed for the week to make way for a debate on the sale of Aer Lingus.

The urgent debate means laws on free GP care for over 70s, and a debate on giving votes to citizens abroad, will be delayed.

"The Government has no time for this place, and I have no doubt that from now until the general election, its whole strategy will be to shut down this House as often as it possibly can ... to prevent any detailed analysis of any serious issue."


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