Taoiseach denies seeing 'internal Aer Lingus' report specifying job losses after sale

The Taoiseach Enda Kenny has admitted he did not see a secret report prepared for Aer Lingus on potential jobs losses as a result of the sale of the airline.

Taoiseach denies seeing 'internal Aer Lingus' report specifying job losses after sale

The Taoiseach Enda Kenny has admitted he did not see a secret report prepared for Aer Lingus on potential jobs losses as a result of the sale of the airline.

Mr Kenny has insisted in the Dáil the Coalition's decision to sell the State's remaining 25% stake in Aer Lingus is the best decision for the country.

However, opposition leaders say the decision is the wrong one and does not protect jobs.

In an angry Dáil contribution Independent TD and former Aer Lingus worker Clare Daly said what the Government was doing was "a new low".

Ms Daly said: "There was a time when people in the Labour Party said they stood for something different. The cheek of these people saying they would give commitments to airport pensioners."

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said the guarantees the Government says it has secured are worthless.

He said: "If this is a guarantee, then clearly you Taoiseach or Minister Donohoe should not be sent to the shop to buy a bottle of milk."

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin highlighted a secret expert report - the NYRAS report - prepared for Aer Lingus about a possible sale and he said it shows potential widescale job losses.

Mr Martin said: "It talks about ground handling cuts of 20%, catering 40%, maintenance 15% and heavy maintenance, which would go to Eastern Europe, 25%."

The Taoiseach admitted he had not seen this report, nor had the Cabinet in reaching the decision.

He said: "I did not see the report that you refer to, neither did the Minister for Transport see that report. It's an internal Aer Lingus document."

Mr Kenny was adamant the deal was good for the country, good for the airline, good for jobs and good for Irish airports, and gave certainty to issues such as the Heathrow slots for "the time ahead".

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