There will have to be “consequences” in DAA management if passengers miss flights again over the June Bank Holiday Weekend, Simon Harris claimed.
The Further and Higher Education minister blasted airport bosses and said people are “getting fed up of senior management hiding behind politicians when it comes to actually doing their job”.
Management at dublin Airport claim they have a plan that will prevent a repeat of last Sunday’s scenes that saw more than 1,400 people miss their flights.
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But if it does happen again, Minister Harris said the Government will judge the DAA on the delivery of its plan.
He added: “The implementation of that plan will be key.
“It is a plan that involves proper triaging of people at the airport.
“That has to be done in a respectful and dignified way.
“This idea of leaving people, particularly people with care needs [and] older people, out, it is not going to fly. You have a very simple job and that’s to get people on planes on time for the flight to take off.
“Absolutely no one said there are no consequences.
“What we said is the DAA has outlined the plan.
“The delivery of that plan is what the Government will judge them on. If the plan isn’t delivered, there will have to be consequences.
“There are very clear relationships in terms of governance between semi-states and relevant Ministers, and that’s for Minister [Hildegarde] Naughton and Minister [Eamon} Ryan in the first case.
“But be clear, the buck stops here with the DAA management.
“People in this country are paid, they are paid good salaries to do good jobs and they need to get on with it.”
Speaking at the launch of a new Government policy on autistic services in Trinity College, the minister noted the DAA has said they are “very, very confident” no one will miss a flight from Dublin Airport over the Bank Holiday weekend.
In the Dail, Sinn Fein’s Pearse Doherty accused Minister Ryan of being “asleep at the wheel” over the issue.
The Donegal TD said he was “not convinced” by the plans announced by the DAA to address the problem and the issue was ultimately the responsibility of the Department of Transport.
He called on Minister Ryan for “heads to roll” if there was a repeat of last weekend’s scenes.
Mr Doherty also said it was the Government who signed off on the redundancy packages for airport staff despite warnings from Siptu that it would lead to queues stretching out to the car parks.
Mr Doherty said it was a “national embarrassment” and added: “You’ve been asleep at the wheel right throughout this process, only to appear last weekend.”
Minister Ryan defended the efforts of the Government in recent weeks, telling the Dail that he was in regular contact with DAA management.
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