Tuesday 23 January 2018

O'Leary accuses Cowen of making false statements

Ailish O'Hora Public Affairs Correspondent

RYANAIR boss Michael O'Leary has formally written to the Government, requesting that comments made by Taoiseach Brian Cowen during the recent Hangar 6 controversy be struck off the Dail record.

In a letter to the Ceann Comhairle Seamus Kirk -- which has been seen by the Irish Independent -- Mr O'Leary claimed that a number of comments made by Mr Cowen in the Dail about Ryanair's approach to the hangar were "false" and damaged the airline's reputation.

Hangar 6 was the centre of a highly publicised spat between the Government and Ryanair after Mr O'Leary said the airline had offered to create 500 maintenance jobs at Dublin Airport.

However, this was on the condition that the State arranged the hangar's sale or lease to Ryanair.

The no-frills airline previously accused the Government of lying over a number of issues relating to the hangar.

The letter to Mr Kirk, dated March 3, also says a number of claims have damaged Ryanair's reputation "not just here in Ireland, but overseas as well".

Ryanair also claims other statements made by Mr Cowen are untrue, including those that the airline did not compete for the hangar, did not seek ownership of it and did not try to lease it last September.

The letter continues: "We wish to formally complain to you about these false claims and ask you to take appropriate and urgent action to have the record corrected."

Mr Cowen refused to comment last night. A spokesman for the Taoiseach said: "That correspondence will be dealt with when received."

Irish Independent

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