Re: Re: Developments in Cork

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From tis morning’s letter page of the olim Cork Examiner:

22 March 2007

Cork failed to match Shannon’s free zone

THOMAS WHELAN (Irish Examiner letters, March 15) uses emotive language in responding to my fears for the future of Shannon airport (Letters, March 10).

‘Notorious’ is a debased word to use to describe the Shannon stopover. After all, the stopover was State policy offering regional development support for thousands of jobs in the Shannon industrial free zone. Shannon airport and its industrial zone was the magnet that attracted the first overseas industrial development to the State in the 1960s.

Shannon fully deserved to be the international gateway to Ireland primarily because most tourists visited the west coast. There was nothing to prevent Cork pioneering the free zone concept, but it did not do so — a serious failure on its part.

There is nothing to stop Cork having international air links. In fact, they were proposed two years ago, but the essential support was not forthcoming. While the outgoing aircraft could be filled with cash-rich Corkonians, the return leg from New York failed to attract new passengers. It proves that one international gateway in Munster is adequate.

However, those of us who support Shannon may also feel somewhat aggrieved by other aspects of national development policy in that Cork has a toll-free Lee tunnel while we in Limerick are expected to pay to drive under the Shannon. What is that about swings and roundabouts?

Des Long
52 Shannon Banks

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