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*Cllr Daniel Butler. Photograph: Brian Arthur

Limerick’s first citizen has called on the Government to immediately appoint a new chairperson of Shannon Group.

Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Cllr Daniel Butler (FG) flagged the importance of Shannon Group to the Mid-West region while airing his concern that it is almost a full year without a Chairperson.

Rose Hynes departed the role in August 2020 having received a twelve month contract extension prior to that. Shannon Group is comprised of Shannon Airport, Shannon Heritage, Shannon Commercial Properties and Shannon IASC.

Aaron Forde was appointed as the North Clare woman’s successor in February but he was removed from the role within hours when old disparaging comments on social media came to light.

“It is almost a year now since Rose Hynes stepped down as chair of the Shannon Group, and it is crucial the government acts immediately,” Mayor Butler stated. He added, “The Shannon Group is a key organisation for the entire region. The aviation sector has been decimated due to the Covid-19 pandemic and we need someone who is visionary and innovative to take the helm of the Shannon Group to help rebuild the sector in the mid-west”.

Any potential improvement in the aviation industry heightens the need to make an appointment, the Raheen man stated. “We need to have the structures in place to take advantage of any upswing in the sector as the world begins to live with Covid and more people begin to travel again. The government has been stalling the process since the unfortunate debacle earlier this year, but I’m calling on the Minister for Transport now to move on this position straight away, to allow the mid-west region to adapt and plan for the future with clear objectives and goals”.

He concluded, “The Shannon Group is already undergoing some major changes, with King John’s Castle and its other Shannon Heritage sites currently under its remit in the process of being transferred the local authorities. Now is the time for the government to act.”

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