US Ambassador to Ireland, Claire D. Cronin made her first visit to Shannon Airport since presenting her credentials to President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins earlier this month.

A fortnight after commencing her new role, the Massachusetts woman whose grandparents hail from Donegal met with Shannon Group Chairperson Pádraig Ó Céidigh and Shannon Group CEO Mary Considine where she was briefed on activities at Shannon Airport. She arrived in Ireland on February 9th.

Ms Considine said the visit of the Ambassador was timely as Shannon prepares to welcome back US tourists and businesses persons with the restart of transatlantic air services. “Shannon has a proud tradition of welcoming visitors from all over the world. Statesmen and women, movie stars, celebrities and every US president since John F Kennedy have been welcomed at Shannon Airport over the years. And we were delighted to continue that tradition by welcoming the first female US Ambassador to Ireland since Jean Kennedy Smith in 1998, who was a regular visitor to Shannon”.

Transatlantic services will recommence from Shannon Airport on the 10th March with the return of the Aer Lingus Shannon to Boston service, followed next day by the recommencement of the Aer Lingus New York service. The 28th March will see the return of the Newark service with United.

During the Ambassador’s visit a special tour was facilitated by the Airport Operations Director Niall Maloney, who showed Ambassador Cronin the airport’s aviation gallery and wall of fame and the famous faces which adorn it. Ambassador Cronin also received a tour of Shannon Duty Free, the world’s first duty free and was given a demonstration of the new airport security screening system – the first of its kind in any state airport, which is halving dwell time in this area.

Ambassador Cronin met with the airport’s US Customs and Border Protection team and received a tour of the facility, which was the first US immigration pre-inspection facility in Europe back in 1986 before advancing to a full pre-clearance operation in 2009. In 2010, it subsequently became the first in the world to offer full preclearance for private aircraft.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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