A Clare Independent TD is accusing the Chair of the Transport Committee of attempting to silence opposition voices after being denied access to a meeting in Shannon Airport.
Scariff Deputy Michael McNamara claims he was ‘excluded’ from joining the Oireactas Transport Committee’s visit to the regional airport this week.
Members of the Oireachtas Transport Committee visited Shannon yesterday, along with the Irish Aviation Authority’s headquarters in Ballycasey.
It’s understood senior members of Shannon Group, including new Chair designate Conal Henry and CEO Mary Considine, discussed projections for passenger growth and the possibility of adding new routes to its portfolio.
However, strong criticism has been levelled at the Committee Chairperson, Fine Gael Deputy Kieran O’Donnell by Clare Independent TD Michael McNamara following the trip to the regional airport.
The Scariff Deputy requested to attend the excursion and claims he was denied access as the meeting didn’t qualify as official proceedings.
Deputy McNamara is now calling for the committee to be governed in a non-partisan way.
Reacting to Michael McNamara’s complaints, one Clare Government TD claims inviting every Oireachtas member from a certain catchment area to each Committee field trip could prove ‘unwieldy’.
Clarecastle-based Fine Gael Deputy Joe Carey argued he isn’t aware of other Oireachtas Committees officially inviting all TD’s and Senators in a constituency they’re visiting to take part in proceedings.
Transport Committee member Joe Carey says while he’d have no difficulty in other Oireachtas members joining such trips, he believes it may present certain logistical difficulties.