Council Can’t Afford To “Prop Up” Shannon Airport

It’s claimed Clare County Council simply can’t afford to alleviate the commercial rates bill for Shannon Group.

It’s in response to a call from the group’s Chief Operating Officer to ease rates, in an effort to provide support for further economic development for the region as a whole.

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Shannon Group pays 2.4 million euro in rates to Clare County Council every year, while companies who are tenants at the Shannon Free Zone pay an additional 1.1 million.

The issue arose yesterday at a briefing to Shannon area Councillors by Group COO Ray O’Driscoll, who has said that if these bills were eased, then it would allow the group to invest and grow, benefitting the wider region.

Any reduction in these rates bills is problematic, however.

The Council doesn’t have the power to grant a rates reprieve to individual entities or companies, so any cut would have to be applied across the board.

There’s also the added problem that any cut in Shannon Group’s bills would result in a fall in Council income.

Sixmilebridge Independent Councillor Pj Ryan says there currently isn’t any room for a subvention from the local authority.