Memo a ‘resignation issue’

THE debacle over the “missing memo” in the Department of Transport would lead to ministerial resignation in most other countries, Labour leader Eamon Gilmore claimed yesterday.

Responding to the publication of an internal report explaining the communication failures between civil servants and the minister for transport, Mr Gilmore said the whole affair would be greeted with considerable scepticism by the public at large.

He said it was clear the government apparatus was aware of the plan but nobody chose to shout ‘stop.’

“In most other states, the mismanagement of a major issue like this would lead to ministerial resignation,” he said. “In Ireland, however, the Government has decided to reward itself with massive salary increases for the very ministers who have a case to answer.”

The report published on Thursday night detailed the series of communication breakdowns and implicated the author and secretary general of transport, Julie O’Neill, who was also made aware on June 14 of the threat to the Shannon-Heathrow service.

Transport Minister Noel Dempsey subsequently exonerated his civil servants, insisting he had “full confidence” in his department officials.

However, Mr Gilmore said the people of the west and the mid-west, who have seen jobs put at risk by the Aer Lingus decision, will be the real losers in this affair.

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