Government Accused Of Failing To Engage With Airlines & Airports As Use Of Antigen Testing Debated

A Clare Government Senator has accused the Cabinet of failing to adequately engage with airlines and airports on the recovery of the aviation industry.

It comes as Dr Tony Holohan is appearing before the Oireachtas Transport Committee this lunchtime to discuss antigen testing in the context of travel, while Ryanair has resumed a number of its services at Shannon Airport.


The Chief Medical Officer’s stance on the use of antigen testing’s is coming under scrutiny in front of the Oireachtas Transport Committee, on which three Clare members sit.

Tony Holohan has previously hit out at the accuracy of the rapid test kits, which he says are only 50 percent effective, and is doubling down on that position this afternoon.

He has also said in his opening remarks today that the hypothesis that antigen testing could enable a safe return to international travel poses several risks to individuals and those around them.

Dr Holohan says the tests have a place where the probability of outbreaks is already high.

One Clare Government Senator has branded what he describes as a failure to endorse rapid antigen testing as ‘ridiculous’.

Timmy Dooley, along with his Clare Fianna Fail colleague Deputy Cathal Crowe, have signed their names to their party’s issues paper on the aviation and tourism sector.

The document, among other things, calls for a multi-annual recovery programme for the aviation sector – something Senator Dooley believes has been sorely lacking thus far.

There are, however, promises from Government of further support for Shannon Airport in the near future, as fears continue to linger about the long term future of Aer Lingus and Lufthansa Technik in the region among others.

Shannon has been given a boost by the return of eight Ryanair routes this week, with planes taking off and landing at the facility from Barcelona-Reus, Stansted, Gatwick, Kaunas, Krakow, Wroclaw and Warsaw-Modlin.

A Manchester service will get underway again on Friday.

Minister of State James Browne says his colleague, Junior Minister for Transport Hildegarde Naughton, will pledge more support for Shannon in the coming weeks.