“Democratic deficit” exists in Shannon Group

“Democratic deficit” exists in Shannon Group

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A helicopter passes by the Air Traffic Control tower at Shannon Airport. Pic: Brian Arthur

A “democratic deficit” exists on the board Shannon Group PLC according to one of the county’s elected representatives.

Established since 5th September 2014, the commercial semi-state company brings together Shannon Airport, Shannon Heritage, the International Aviation Services Centre (IASC) and Shannon Commercial Enterprises Ltd, trading as Shannon Commercial Properties.

There are nine board members of Shannon Group PLC; Rose Hynes, Matthew Thomas, Tom Coughlan, Joe Buckley, Liam O’Shea, Kathryn O’Leary Higgins, Michael Leydon, Kevin McCarthy and Tony Brazil.

Independent councillor, Gerry Flynn feels that an elected member of public office should be added to the company’s board of directors. “In the interests of mutual cooperation and understanding, that Shannon Group PLC considers appointing a democratically mandated representative of Clare County Council to its Board of Directors and that this proposal gets serious consideration in view of the current democratic deficit that exists in the running of Shannon International Airport as a Gateway to the West of Ireland and employment opportunities”.

Speaking at the January meeting of the Council which took place at Shannon Airport, Cllr Flynn called for a motion to be put forward to Minister for Transport, Shane Ross on the issue. He outlined his support for the airport and the “many mutual interests” shared between both bodies.

Flynn revealed that he has been contacted by retailers at Ballycasey Craft and Design Centre who are concerned about their future. He said there was a risk of it becoming “a substantial office block surplus to requirements” and added “Shannon Group PLC has a civic responsibility to protect our town and county”.

Fellow Independent councillors, Christy Curtin and PJ Ryan echoed his view to put a mandated representative on the board.

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