TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has given his strongest hint yet that the government sale of the 25pc Aer Lingus sale will go ahead today.
Mr Kenny told the Dail the Cabinet will resume deliberations this afternoon and make a decision "in the best interests of the country."
The Taoiseach said the Government turned down an offer in February and would consider key issues around connectivity for regional airports, jobs at Aer Lingus
"We will make the decision this evening and that decision will be in the best interests of the country," Mr Kenny said.
Replying to Fianna Fail leader, Micheál Martin, and Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams, the Taoiseach said the sale could not be discussed before a Cabinet decision.
Mr Martin said the Government had briefed the media and the Labour Party on the details of the offer by aviation group, IAG. But the national parliament had been told nothing.
The Fianna Fail leader said his party opposed the Aer Lingus share sale because of its impact on connectivity for Ireland and jobs at Aer Lingus. Mr Martin said Ryanair and Easyjet had proved the sale was not necessary to increase passenger numbers.
The Taoiseach repeated that he expected a decision this evening and the Dail could debate this at a later stage.
Ryanair has insisted its efforts to force a reversal of a UK watchdog decision to force the airline to sell most of its near 30pc stake in Aer Lingus remains unrelated to IAG’s €1.36bn takeover approach for the former state-owned carrier.
THE current proposals from AIG are 'not sufficient for the Government to commit to selling its shares' according to a local Fine Gael TD who backed the Minister for Transport's stance on the issue after a cabinet meeting discussed the IAG deal last week.