Buttimer calls for Development Council to use its expertise to develop a long term plan for Cork Airport

Wednesday, 25th June 2014

  • Cork Airport Development Council should be given the remit to contribute to a long term plan for Cork Airport.
  • Speaking in the Dáil on the State Airports (Shannon Group) Bill, 2014.


The establishment of a new high level stakeholder body, the Cork Airport Development Council, is a positive move for Cork Airport.  But the expertise on this group should be harnessed to develop a comprehensive long term plan for the development and growth of the airport.

The Development Council provides a forum for senior stakeholders from a range of sectoral and geographic backgrounds who have an interest in the development of Cork Airport to engage with management at the airport and to help contribute to traffic and route growth.  That this group has representatives from organisations such as Fáilte Ireland, the Cork Chamber of Commerce and EMC among others will ensure that local views will contribute to the future development of the airport so that it meets the tourism and business needs of the region.  If this impact of this input is to be maximised then it must feed into a formalised long term plan.

The first item that this group should focus on is expanding the air connectivity available from Cork.  In looking at this a priority must be developing air links with key international hubs with flights at times that suit businesses.  We must protect and develop key routes such as Heathrow, Gatwick, Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt, Munich and Rome, but perhaps more importantly an air link to Dublin.

Having this range of flight options ensures that passengers using Cork Airport, for both business and tourism, can get direct flights to key international hubs which enable them to link to destinations across the globe.  Focussing on these routes will enable Cork businesses to grow and expand internationally.  This will benefit the language schools in Cork, third level colleges including UCC and CIT, the many leading international businesses that operate from Cork and all of those involved in the tourism sector.  These groups and businesses would be able to market Cork to a wider audience as a destination for business and tourism.

Regrettably the challenges facing Cork airport are compounded by the high level of debt that the airport carries.  All parties involved in Cork Airport must continue to explore ways to reduce the debt levels it is carrying.  Reducing this burden will allow the airport to reduce prices and attract airlines.  Unless the debt is reduced the ability of the Airport to reach its full potential will not be delivered.

I hope that that the Development Council will be the catalyst the will enable Cork Airport to grow so that it can reach its full potential.  And I hope that the input of people from outside of the DAA group will facilitate a detailed consideration of how to restructure the debt at Cork Airport so that it does not continue to be a heavy weight preventing the airport attaining its obvious potential.

Posted under Cork, Cork City, Dáil Speeches, Development, Economic, National Work, Tourism, Transport

FF scaremongering on USC is irresponsible and wrong- Buttimer

Cork South Central Fine Gael TD and Chairperson of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children, Jerry Buttimer, has today criticised the Fianna Fáil fuelled media speculation about the Universal Social Charge (USC) as irresponsible and wrong.

“I am incredulous at today’s attempts by Fianna Fáil to scaremonger on the matter of the USC exemption for older people.

“Our Minister for Finance Michael Noonan is already on the record saying that it is a priority for this Government to cut the very high rate of tax paid by families on average incomes. Any such measure would include looking again at the changes in the USC already legislated for by the previous Fianna Fail Government.

“Fianna Fáil designed the USC so that the special low rate of 4% for certain categories including older people would lapse. By comparison, we are very clear that everyone aged 70 and over will continue to benefit from the lower 4% rate of USC rate on all income below €60k.

“Fianna Fáil should stop this scaremongering. They hardly need reminding that this measure is the legacy of a deal they struck to gain support from Independent TDs before the last election. It was the current Government that took 330,000 workers out of the USC net in its first budget in October 2011. We were seeking to right the wrongs perpetrated by the previous Government and protect the vulnerable people who had been so badly affected by the economic crash.

“We will continue to do this and remain committed to our mission to restore jobs, stability and economic growth to this country. Fianna Fáil should stop scaremongering from the side-lines about a policy they introduced and designed in such a way that the special exemptions would lapse long after they had crawled away from a shambolic Government, leaving carnage in their wake.”

Posted under Economic, Jobs Enterprise & Innovation

Government funding for Páirc Uí Chaoimh an economic boost for Cork

13 May 2014

  • Government commitment to provide €30 million for the redevelopment of Páirc Uí Chaoimh is a significant economic boost for Cork.
  • Funding to assist with redevelopment of Páirc Uí Chaoimh, development of a centre of excellence and establishment of a local Marina Park.

The announcement of €30 million for the redevelopment of Páirc Uí Chaoimh will be a great boost to the Cork economy.  When this project gets underway it will generate much needed employment and the end result will be a facility that will benefit Cork for generations to come.

For many years we have heard about the possibility of redeveloping Páirc Uí Chaoimh, recently Cork City Council granted planning permission, and now the development has been given the financial support it requires to proceed.  I am delighted that this significant capital project has received the support that it deserves.

Cork GAA is an integral part of our community and Páirc Uí Chaoimh is the main stadium and flag ship location for all club and inter-county games.  This project will ensure that we have a stadium that meets the needs of players, teams and supporters.  I would like to congratulate all who have been involved in getting this project to this stage.

As well as a great sport venue this capital project will bring the development of the Marina Park a step closer.  This will be an important amenity that will everyone in Cork.  I welcome this Government commitment to Cork; it comes quick on the heels of a commitment of part funding an event centre for Cork.  These are two significant investments in Cork and its people and will leave a lasting legacy that will create jobs and provide much needed social, cultural and sporting venues for the city and county.

When the planning process has been completed I hope that the project can commence as soon as possible.  During the construction phase it is imperative that the GAA maintain dialogue with local residents to ensure that they are not unnecessarily inconvenienced.

Posted under Cork, Development, Economic, Employment, Jobs Enterprise & Innovation, National Work, Public Expenditure & Reform, Sport