WDC chairman backs Taoiseach on Knock issue

Commenting on the statement made by Joe Kennedy, chairman of Ireland West Airport Knock, who directed a public appeal to An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, at a recent function, to ensure his support to Ireland West Airport Knock, chairman of the Western Development Commission, Paddy McGuinness, said: “Mr Kennedy is widely respected for his support and interest in the ongoing development of the Western region and, particularly, Ireland West Airport Knock. His comments are honourable and merely indicated that he hoped his aspirations for the airport, and those of An Taoiseach’s, were aligned.”

Mr McGuinness stated that the WDC, which is the statutory body tasked with economic development of the Western region, is instrumental in developing, supporting, and promoting tourism, enterprise, and job creation initiatives. He continued: “Our remit is to support the Western region’s potential through a variety of means – tourism being a key element.  With the Wild Atlantic Way being launched earlier this year, the west of Ireland will play host to a significant amount of new and return tourists, so we need to ensure our infrastructure supports this.”

Mr McGuinness’ statement went on to say that as a regional authority, with responsibility for seven counties, the WDC is focused on ensuring balance in the delivery of economic development opportunities.  The ongoing enhancement of infrastructure is a theme which the authority returns to on a regular basis.  Given that the general catchment for air travel destinations is two to three hours, the Western region’s airports offer essential access for incoming visitors, particularly to the 2,500 kilometre Wild Atlantic Way route. He concluded: “The Taoiseach has already given his support to several major infrastructural projects in the west and I have no doubt that the consolidation and expansion of Ireland West Airport Knock is a priority for him.”

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