Government under fire on Knock

Bishop warns airport crucial  to economic progress of West

Sligo News File Online.

The government is coming under increasing pressure to provide
State funding for Knock Airport.

Retired Bishop of Elphin, Christy Jones has warned that the West will suffer economically if the airport is not supported.

His concerns come amid accounts that Sligo County Council may be
forced to renage on the committment it has made to allocate upwards of €2 million to bail out the operation, where debts are said to be around €9 million.

The Council is mired in millions of debt, a situation which also is not
being helped by the failure of itself and the Department of the Environment to agree a financial plan for the authority.

Some Councillors are said be be worried about the implications the
growing debt load – understood to more than €120 million – will have for services into the future, and the liklihood of new or increased taxes and charges having to be imposed on families to stabilise its finances.

However, there is a view that some demands being made on the Council are unfair; these include the financial backing for the airport, which was approved by Fianna Fail, Fine Gael members and Independents, Michael Clarke, Margaret Gormley and Marie Casserley. Cllr. Jerry Lundy was absent during the vote.

It is questioned why a body that obviously is greatly more indepted than the airport should be bailing out the airport. Whether or not the funding decision will stand now remains to be seen.