Fianna Fáil TD in Dublin Fingal, Darragh O’Brien has welcomed the DAA announcement that they are seeking expressions of interest for the development and operation of a new 402 bedroom four star hotel at Terminal 2.
Up to four hundred new jobs are to be created at Dublin Airport with the opening of a new terminal-linked four star hotel. It will provide employment for 250 people, as well as a further 150 jobs during its construction which is expected to last about 18 months.
Speaking following the announcement, Deputy O’Brien said, “The airport already employs thousands of people including 15,000 jobs on campus and a total of 97,400 jobs in the wider Irish economy. It is worth billions to the Irish economy and is the single biggest generator of economic activity in the State.
The DAA and other employers in the airport have been a huge source of employment for people in the Fingal area of Dublin. It is one of the reasons areas like Swords have been able to persevere through the economic downturn.
“I am delighted to hear of the continued investment in the campus at Dublin Airport. It will also provide much needed additional hotel capacity for the entire Dublin region.
“This development will benefit not just the airport but the city and region as a whole as Dublin needs more hotel beds.
“Dublin Airport continues to experience strong growth in volumes, with the latest observation breaking the previous record, welcoming more than 25 million people. Dublin Airport is currently the fastest growing major airport in Europe.
“It is therefore essential we continue building on the success of the last few years, to help the airport, the local economy and the wider economy to flourish,” concluded O’Brien.
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade Deputy Darragh O’Brien has said that he finds it extraordinary that the Government does not have a view on Russia’s bid for a seat at the UN Human Rights Council as revealed to him during an exchange in the Dáil with the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Commenting on the issue Deputy O’Brien said, “In the Dáil I asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charlie Flanagan if the Government will support Russia’s bid for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council. I raised the question in the context of a discussion on the appalling situation in Syria and the terrible atrocities that have been committed by the Syrian Government and Russian military.
“The Minister informed me that the Government ‘does not have a view on this decision’, which I have to say I find remarkable given the complete disregard that Russia has shown for human life; the use of weapons with indiscriminate effects, the tactic of using starvation as a weapon of war, and deliberate attacks on essential services such as hospitals, water stations and food supplies and on those providing humanitarian assistance.
“The election is due to be held on October 28th and Russia is competing against Croatia and Hungary for one of the six seats available to the Eastern European bloc. I believe that Russia’s actions in Syria stand in clear contradiction to the fundamental principles of human rights and I am disappointed that the Government have chosen to sit on the fence when it comes to their membership of the Human Rights Council.
“I believe their actions in Aleppo in particular and their use malevolent use of the veto at the UN Security Council demonstrates that they are not fit to serve on the Human Rights Council.”
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Darragh O’Brien TD has questioned the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade on the Government's strategy for dealing with the growing challenges presented by Brexit.
Speaking in the Dáil earlier today, Deputy O’Brien said, “In light of the decision of Prime Minister Theresa May not to appoint the Northern Irish Secretary of State to her Brexit Committee, we must respond with a multifaceted approach.
“We have an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment as a strong and intrinsic part of the European Union, and a member that wants to continue and further strengthen its ties with the European Union. We must endeavour to ensure that we are able to continue trading with the North of Ireland in particular and our neighbours in Britain for the good of both our peoples.
“My concern is that while everyone seems to be in charge, no one is in charge and the current Government attitude seems to be that we should just hold tight and things will work out.
“The case for a separate Minister for Brexit grows every day. The role of this minister would be to lead and co-ordinate the response to all of the cross departmental issues that are now presenting.
“It is necessary that we show our colleagues in Europe that while we will rightly advocate for special status for Northern Ireland under the Good Friday Agreement, we will also ensure we remain at the centre of European policy making.
Fianna Fáil TD and Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade Darragh O’Brien has said that the Taoiseach has misled the Dáil on summoning the Russian Ambassador to relay Ireland’s revulsion to their actions in Aleppo.
Commenting on the issue Deputy O’Brien said, “During Leaders Questions on the 4th of October the Taoiseach made the following statement ‘the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade called in the Russian ambassador last Tuesday and left him in no uncertain terms as to how this country feels about the human catastrophe that is unfolding and has unfolded in Syria and particularly Aleppo’.
“However, I had a meeting yesterday with the Russian ambassador to express my party's revulsion with what is happening and he stated that he did not meet with the Minister.
“Furthermore, I tabled a written parliamentary question asking the date and time that the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade summoned the Ambassador and my question was disallowed. However, a similar question tabled by another Deputy to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade confirms the Ambassador met with two senior Government officials rather than the Minister himself.
“This is a very serious matter and I will be asking the Taoiseach to correct the Dáil record. Moreover, the situation in Aleppo is appalling and it is imperative that the Irish people have clarity in relation to the actions that our Government is taking on this issue. The Russian Ambassador should be summoned and the Minister for Foreign Affairs should be taken a much more hands role in expressing Ireland's utter condemnation of what is happening in Aleppo.”
Fianna Fáil TD and Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Darragh O’Brien has responded to the news that no permanent slot has been allocated to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on the 12 person Brexit Cabinet Committee recently established by Prime Minister Theresa May.
Deputy O'Brien commented, "The decision of the British Prime Minister not to include the Northern Ireland Secretary in the Cabinet Committee dealing with the issue of Brexit is a very worrying signal and raises serious question marks over just how seriously the British Government is taking the unique threats facing Northern Ireland arising from Brexit.
"The core question of border controls remains, and as each week passes it becomes increasingly clear that those who advocated for Brexit have no real idea of what it means. However, the issues facing the North are immediate and they are real. The idea that the British Minister with responsibility for Northern Ireland would not be on the Cabinet Committee examining these issues is baffling.
"We will be raising our concerns in the strongest possible terms with the British Ambassador."
- More must be done by EU to prepare for Brexit -
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs & Trade Darragh O’Brien has called on the EU to set up fund to protect vulnerable countries from any negative impact of Britain’s decision to leave the EU. Deputy O’Brien made the comments following reports that the British government is to move to shield companies based in the UK against any Brexit fallout.
“The British government appears to be intent on delivering a “hard Brexit” and is already putting plans in place to protect its business interests and jobs. Meanwhile, the EU - our own government included - is lagging behind, adopting a wait and see attitude and failing to put together a strategy to cope with the consequences. This will put Ireland and other EU countries at a serious disadvantage”, said Deputy O’Brien.
“We need to ensure that Irish jobs are protected. Small and medium family businesses are facing huge challenges in the face of Brexit and it is vital that these are supported by government and EU initiatives and not left exposed because of a lack of adequate planning.
“The EU’s failure to prepare is risking the future of companies based in Ireland. They will find it increasingly difficult to compete with businesses which are being bolstered by the British government – and we could find ourselves losing long established companies to our neighbours across the water if they come up with more enticing conditions.
“The EU needs to respond to these reports without delay. Ireland may have the most to lose if this shielding fund comes to pass. As Britain’s nearest neighbour, both geographically and politically, we face the most immediate danger from a hard Brexit. An EU Reform Fund should be established to protect EU states from any negative economic and social consequences. The fund could also be used to accelerate badly needed reform measures so that future EU exits can be prevented”.