Minister for Transport says he will ‘very, very carefully’ evaluate Aer Lingus sale

Paschal Donohoe rules out a decision being made at tomorrow’s Cabinet meeting

Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe has said he will put in place a process to "very, very carefully'' evaluate all of the consequences for the country of the sale of Aer Lingus.

He said a consultant’s report, commissioned by the Government after the sale became a possibility, would be completed soon.

“I will use that to brief the Cabinet in time and enable the Government to make a decision relating to this,’’ he added.

He said it was the very early stages of a process that was extremely important for the country.


The priorities, said the Minister, were what it meant for the taxpayer, not just in terms of the share price, but also access in and out of the country and our ability to sustain and increase employment in the future.

Mr Donohoe, who was speaking to journalists after a meeting in UCD today on the university’s smarter travel campus programme, ruled out a decision being on the sale at tomorrow’s weekly Cabinet meeting.

“I will brief the Cabinet on what is happening at the moment,’’ he said. “A number of my colleagues have already expressed different views and considerations that need to be considered.’’

He said the Government would weigh up what was happening and make the right long-term decision for the country.

Mr Donohoe said he had been contacted by the Aer Lingus board on Sunday morning to tell him that an announcement was likely.

“Over the past number of weeks, there has been a very strict legal requirement in place relating to what I can say, representing a shareholder, and what Aer Lingus can say,’’ the Minister added.

“Because of that, the communication has been very constrained.’’

Michael O'Regan

Michael O'Regan

Michael O’Regan is a former parliamentary correspondent of The Irish Times