“Cork Airport incident cannot be allowed to happen again”
Fine Gael Cork South Central TD, Jerry Buttimer, has received reassurances from the Minister for Transport that a number of safety reviews are being carried out, following the terrifying breach of security at Cork Airport at the weekend.
“People right across Cork, and indeed the entire country, were left shocked and deeply concerned after a security barrier was breached at Cork Airport on Sunday. While I would like to commend the Gardaí and all those involved in dealing with the incident, it undoubtedly raises serious questions about how such a breach could happen.
“The terrifying events began on Patrick Street when a member of An Garda Siochana was confronted and his patrol car was hijacked. The vehicle was then driven through busy pedestrianised streets before crashing through a barrier near the old terminal building at Cork Airport.
“It’s nothing short of a miracle that no one was seriously injured or killed during the incident. With these concerns in mind, I raised the issue with Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar during an adjournment debate in the Dáil this week. The public needs to feel reassured that sufficient security measures are in place to make sure a similar incident could not happen again at Cork, or any of our other airports. I believe last weekend’s events should make us take a look at how we run all of the airports in the State.
“Minister Varadkar has confirmed that as the Dublin Airport Authority is the operator of Cork airport, it has the responsibility to deal with the matter. It’s reassuring that as a precaution Air Traffic Control held all flights to prevent any landings while the incident was ongoing, and that at no stage did any vehicle enter the live runway area.
“The Minister has pointed out that the perimeter fencing at Cork Airport is regularly patrolled and inspected by Airport Police, and that the fencing itself is of the same type as is used at the vast majority of airports across the EU.
“The Minister has also confirmed that as a result of the security breach, a review is being carried out by the Cork Airport Security Officer, with the help of senior security personnel from Shannon Airport and from the Health and Safety, Security and Environment Department of the DAA.
“This review will look at what additional measures may be needed to reduce the risk of such an incident happening again. A review is also being undertaken by the Gardaí and their findings will also be taken into account. I expect the findings of these reviews to be used to ensure that all of our airports are as secure as they possibly can be.”