ICMSA say suggested lifting of Dublin Airport passenger cap without reference to related emissions increase is “surreal”.

The President of ICMSA, Denis Drennan, has said that farmers and the state’s multi-billion Euro dairy processing sector will be “watching like hawks” the Government’s response to what he called the “obviously lavishly funded PR campaign” to get the passenger cap on Dublin Airport raised from 30 million to 40 million.   Mr. Drennan said that it would be all his members could do not to laugh out loud upon reading the comments of Aer Lingus executives in which the case was made that retaining the current passenger limit was going to cost the economy both jobs and revenue.  He noted that exactly the same arguments had been made – and with much greater justification – for maintaining our Nitrates Derogation at 250 N per hectare that was the requirement of our world-beating dairy sector, to no avail whatsoever.   The Government must surely see, he said, that it would be impossible for them to accede to Aer Lingus’s and DAA’s wishes for a 33% increase in flights – with the massively increased emissions involved – while demanding that farming and food production was cut to lower emissions associated with that activity.

Mr. Drennan said that farmers were “waiting with interest” to see if any of the dozens of environmental quangos and agencies who were so outspoken in their denunciation of farm-related emissions could stir themselves to comment on the increase in emissions that must follow the waving through of DAA and Aer Lingus’s request.

“We’ll be watching this like hawks; it’s going to be very interesting to see whether, for instance, Minister Ryan will be as forthright in his analysis of this actually non-essential application as he appeared to be when ICMSA and others set out the case for maintaining our dairy sector – widely considered to be the best and most sustainable in the world.  Similarly, we have every right to expect an announcement from Minister McConalogue that he will veto any such lifting of the passenger cap on grounds of consistency and equality.  At our AGM last November, ICMSA raised the scenario where Irish State policy would have the butter, powder and cheese exports out of Tipperary and Cork cut through the culling of their cows but ‘Stags’ and ‘Hens’ parties out of Dublin not just left alone but actually encouraged to increase through this shameless double-standard. Today’s reports that Aer Lingus and DAA are pushing for the lifting of the passenger cap shows that surreal scenario is a step closer”, said Mr. Drennan.

Ends      16 January 2024

Denis Drennan, 086-8389401

President, ICMSA.


Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758

ICMSA Press Office