Deputy Tommy Broughan has urged TD’s in his former party to resist the sale of Aer Lingus to IAG. He commented “The 2014 annual report shows Aer Lingus performing very well with an 18% increase in operating profits, 9% growth in revenue and revenue per seat also up 9%. The company’s net cash pile now stands at €545 million with gross cash of €935 million and with orders confirmed for nine new long haul (A350) aircraft in 2018/2020. The Central Representative Council of Aer Lingus employees have also contacted Deputy Broughan urging the Government to retain its 25.1% shareholding in the company.

Northside constituents are rightly worried that Aer Lingus, an independent company sustaining nearly 4,000 jobs directly and perhaps up to 50,000 jobs as part of the Dublin Airport hinterland could now be swallowed up and disappear into the British Airways dominated IAG multinational. It is clear to see the attraction for IAG of acquiring Aer Lingus as it seeks to meet the challenge of the huge Ryanair operations and of other no-frills European and international airlines. But the loss of our key and historic independent aviation company may have profound negative impacts for Ireland as an island nation over the coming decade.

It is striking too how the same discredited media commentators who urged the sale of banks like ACC and ICC and the creation of light touch banking regulation are now to the fore in the right-wing media demanding the sale of Aer Lingus. Indeed one of these luminaries (who has never stood for election even to a parish council) wanted to cover St. Anne’s Park with high rise buildings during Celtic Tiger days when he failed to alert us to the coming crash.

Labour Deputies should now stand firm and resist these always wrong sirens and vote against any sale of our national aviation company.