It is hardly surprising that the board of Aer Lingus has rejected a request from Ryanair to hold an Extraordinary General Meeting of shareholders. It was never likely to provide a platform for its competitor and arch critic Michael O Leary. The Ryanair boss is unlikely to accept this decision without a fight.
Of course the Government itself with its 25% share holding could call an EGM. This will not happen as indications -from Government sources- are that the Government will not intervene to alter the commercial decisions of a private company.
Promises given prior to privatisation have been quietly binned. The retention by the Government of the 25% share holding was supposed to protect the national interest. In reality it was a sop to mollify opposition. The Government must now use the 25% shareholding or else sell it. FF-PD Governments have a strong record of selling the family silver.
Enda Kenny the Fine Gael leader said his party will fight to ensure there will be an ongoing air service between Shannon and Heathrow.
Government deputies from the Mid West face grave embarrassment in the Dail when the opposition puts down a motion calling on the Government to maintain the Shannon to Heathrow route. Willie O Dea's bluff will be called. Jackie Healy Rae will rave and rant and then vote with the coalition.
Put up or shut up time is rapidly approaching for government politicians.