The newly appointed US Ambassador to Ireland Kevin O’Malley has praised Shannon Airport for its key role in supporting the continuing and strong US multi-national presence in the West of Ireland.
Speaking on an official visit to the airport, where he met members of its executive and board, Ambassador O’Malley said that having a vibrant airport on the western seaboard with direct links to the US is critical for shared prosperity between the region and multi-nationals.
Ambassador O’Malley travelled to Shannon with his wife Dena and members of his team at the US embassy for meetings with members of the board and executive in what was his first visit to the region since his arrival in Ireland to take up the post five weeks ago.
He said, “Literally all of the businesses, the US multi-nationals and those from other countries that are situated in this region, need an airport that can service their connectivity requirements.
“These are large companies doing a great job in Ireland, employing Irish people and participating in helping both sides of the Atlantic share in a great prosperity. Shannon helps sustain that through its transatlantic services as without them there would be no direct access from the US into the West or South coast of Ireland.
“There has been an explosion of business here up and down the coast, with a lot of significant foreign direct investment here. This is a wonderful testament to what is happening at Shannon and the region.”
The St. Louis, Missouri grandson of Westport, Co. Mayo grandparents said that he has been impressed by what he has seen of the Irish economy since his arrival.
“The thing that I feel since coming to Ireland five weeks ago in this official capacity is that the recovery here is palpable. You can feel it and see it. Everything is on the up here.
“I took over as the US ambassador about five weeks ago and we spent the first weeks in Dublin but I wanted to get out to this part of the country as quickly as I could to tell the business community here, including the authority in Shannon, that the US wants to do business.
“It’s a vibrant part of Ireland and is linked with a great deal of prosperity in the US. Anything I can do to increase investment and trade between our two countries, I will do. That is very important to me.”
Speaking following the meeting, Shannon Group Chief Commercial Officer Andrew Murphy said, “We were delighted to welcome Ambassador O’Malley to Shannon. He was no stranger to Shannon as he travelled through here in the past on a number of occasions and understands the special links between this airport and the US.
“We had four major airlines (Aer Lingus, United, Delta and American) operating to five US destinations (Boston, Chicago, JFK New York, Newark and Philadelphia) on our schedule this year including daily Boston and Newark services year round. This also gives us one-stop connectivity to virtually every city in the US so Shannon plays a huge role in terms of supporting US investment and tourism here.
“Ambassador O’Malley not alone understands Shannon’s key role, as the only airport on the entire Atlantic Seaboard from Donegal down to Cork, in helping to sustain investment between this side of the island and the US but has made it clear he wants to do whatever he can to support that further. We appreciate this very much and look forward to working with him into the future.”