"Hands Off Aer Lingus !" – says Daly
" Ryanair stunt should be vigorously opposed!"
" Any attempt by Ryanair to purchase Aer Lingus, should be vigorously opposed by the workforce. The government should take note and decisively reject this stunt," said Socialist Party TD Clare Daly.
Deputy Daly was responding to Ryanair's announcement of an attempted take-over of the airline with an offer of €1.30 per share. She said, "The government has to take full responsibility for this situation. Ryanair is cynically using the government's announcement of its intention to sell its 25% shareholding in an attempt to drive up the price of Ryanair's shares. It is clear that nothing else has changed. This move which would give Ryanair a virtual monopoly on air transport to and from Ireland, will again be rejected by the competition authorities. The real agenda seems to be improving their share price, probably with a view to selling their existing stock."
"The lesson should be clear. Aer Lingus has almost €1 billion in cash reserves, not to mind all its other assets and potential. This is one of the oldest companies in Ireland, providing relatively decent secure, permanent pensionable employment to thousands, an excellent service and connectivity to Europe and the United States from both east and west of Ireland. Any further sell off of government shares should be halted as an extremely short sighted move, which would deliver a small amount of cash, which would be more than offset by the threat to jobs and service in the future."