Shane Ross


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Archive for the ‘Transport’ Category

Iceman Cometh to Terminal 2

‘SO you can charge what you like then?” I asked the little monopolist.

“That’s the way it is,” he responded smugly.

“And you can open when you like?” I queried.

“That’s the way it is too,” he riposted triumphantly.

Every businessman’s dream.

Mary: Muddled or Muzzled?

AER Lingus still rules OK? Last Wednesday a basement in the bowels of Leinster House resembled a padded cell for the insane. Michael O’Leary has turned the lunatics in the aviation asylum on their heads.

A man who was shedding no less than 1,100 jobs at the airport descended to the dungeon to confront a man who was promising 300 in the same place. The Oireachtas Transport Committee was hosting the row between O’Leary and Mary Coughlan’s allies in Dublin Airport and Aer Lingus.

Wednesday morning’s news had revealed that Christoph Mueller — of Aer Lingus and Germany — was threatening to make 1,100 employees compulsorily redundant.

On the same day Michael O’Leary — of Mullingar and Ryanair — entered the arena promising 300 jobs.


Mary and the Little Tramp

MICHAEL O’LEARY is offering Mary Coughlan a simple deal. Give me Hangar 6 and I’ll give you 300 jobs.

More chillingly put: no hangar no jobs.

That is the way he does business. Three arms of the State have joined forces to block him.

While Michael is parading himself on the airwaves, they have despatched their armies of spin doctors to undermine him. None has the neck to confront him head on, so they are whispering behind his back. They are muttering that O’Leary is a showman. Which he is. That he is exploiting the airwaves to promote his cause. Which he is. That he is making mischief. Nobody does it better. And more wickedly, that he is not genuine about his jobs offer. Which he is.

M50 Directors Unmasked

WHO will be the first victim? Someone will soon go to jail for not paying a €3 toll fee on the M50. Come back, National Toll Roads, all is forgiven.

The smuggest AGM in Irish history will be held on Thursday. Tom Roche and Jim Barry of National Toll Roads will do a lap of honour in Dublin’s Westbury Hotel.

First, the duo wiped the State’s eye by buying the West-Link. Next, they crucified the M50 motorists. Finally, the Government took them off the pitch in an expensive buyout. Yet within weeks, the buyer has turned a triumph into a shambles. What a lucky escape for the NTR monopoly. The flak they took for so long has been deflected onto the State.

Did those of us who campaigned to dismantle the toll barriers win a hollow victory?


Aer Lingus Reaches For A Star

HAS the board of Aer Lingus gone walkabout?

The wobbly old airline, just out of the warm womb of public ownership, carrying baggage galore, has betrayed its semi-state ancestors. Burdened by a bombed-out share price, struggling with soaring fuel costs and rooted in a crumbling island economy, Aer Lingus faces a grim future. Worst of all, its steadfast chairman, John Sharman, is perched in the departure lounge, quitting at a time of crisis for the airline industry.


The Tearing Of The Green?

I am concerned about what will happen when Metro North construction begins in St. Stephen’s Green. Many of you contacted me to ask what effect it will have on the appearance of the Green. In a special adjournment debate I called in the Minister for Transport to raise the issue of the need to ensure the metro construction works in St. Stephen’s Green cause minimal damage to the environment and the least possible inconvenience to the public. As a national monument it needs to be sensitively developed and preserved.


Government Must Rev Up Transport 21

Most people support Transport 21. The Government’s renewed commitment not to cut capital expenditure is commendable and so I recently raised the issue of transport infrastructure in the Senate. In the fragile economic period we are approaching, it is important that such expenditure is not cut, particularly on infrastructure because of its importance to the economy.The infrastructural problems that were never resolved during the Celtic tiger era. All forms of transport were inadequate because nobody foresaw the extraordinary boom in land, air and sea traffic. The Governments plans are predominantly aspirational but we should encourage the Government to proceed full steam ahead with its plans and not carp too much about them.


M50 Fees And Fines

Many of you continue to sit in long lines trying to crawl along the M50 with thousands of other commuters. My cage rattling has obviously had some effect as they are about to remove the toll plaza that causes such frustration but they seem to have missed the point completely. They aren’t about to ease the suffering of the motorist commuter, prices are set to rise and fines introduced! Infuriated, I raised this in a special adjournment debate.


Money, Money, Money, Must Be Funny, In The NRA’s World

DO you still doubt the hidden talents of all those sluggish state agencies?

You do? Go straight to the National Roads Authority (NRA) for reassurance.

Next, invoke the name Maurice O’Connell, the doyen of Irish economic folklore.

Last week a report ordered by the National Roads Authority (NRA) was leaked.The topic was the latest penal hike in toll charges at the M50. And what was in the report? (more…)

Listen To My Interview With Eamon Dunphy Here!

Recently,  I was interviewed by Eamon Dunphy on his Saturday morning radio show. Listen here to find out about how I entered politics, my meetings with the late Joe Dolan in a Carrickmines shop, the turmoil in the world markets, my views on broadband, and what music I chose!