"It was agreed that the Minister for Transport, on behalf of Government, would do all in his power to assist the Shannon Airport Authority to secure alternative London Heathrow services."
This means that the Government will not use its 25% share in Aer Lingus to save the Shannon-Heathrow route. It will vote to support the company's decision to axe the route. Over the last few days there have been judicious leaks from government sources geared towards softening up public opinion in the West and Mid West.
The newly-formed Atlantic Connectivity Alliance also sent a fact file to each minister detailing the implications to business and tourism.
A representative of the Alliance was interviewed on RTE News tonight. He sounded enthusiastic about the Government's attitude to the Mid West.
No wonder Noel Dempsey is not too worried. Representatives of the Alliance should spare their enthusiasm for concrete actions rather than woolly promises.
Others from the Mid West were not as enthusiastic and were quite critical.The Government appears to have neutered the opposition of the Atlantic Connectivity Alliance whilst there is no prospect of FF TDs in the Mid West voting en bloc against the Government.
A serious threat by the FF TDs in the Mid West to bring down the Government on the issue could achieve the desired result of restoring the Shannon to Heathrow route. The FF TDs in the Mid West are not serious. The Government knows this.
The score stands at FF 1 Mid West 0.