Shane Ross

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A debate on Transport Would Occupy the Minister for a Long Time

Posted on: November 4th, 2004

We should not restrict any debate on transport to the Luas. Some serious questions have to be answered but there has been a continuous failure to do so. They concern the other two major problems in this area, namely, Aer Rianta and Aer Lingus.

Whereas the change of Minister may or may not make a difference, Deputy Cullen has not only inherited the problems which his predecessor was struggling with, he has also got the boards, particularly of Aer Rianta, appointed by the former Minister for Transport, Deputy Brennan.

We must ask a serious question, not about State appointments to boards but whether it is awkward for Deputy Cullen that people who were hand-picked by one person to do a particular job are now being employed by him for a different role. We must face the fact that they have loyalties to a particular Minister. We must ask whether these boards are now suitable for the current Minister and whether he is happy with them.

We should have a debate on transport, but not just on the Luas. Such a debate would allow Deputy Cullen to debate Aer Rianta in light of the fact that he has taken over as Minister.