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Worries over Dublin Airport queues hitting 1,000 political VIPs at Taoiseach’s EU shindig

Flight concerns threaten to overshadow welcome for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s party


Taoiseach Micheál Martin Photo: Julien Behal

Taoiseach Micheál Martin Photo: Julien Behal

Taoiseach Micheál Martin Photo: Julien Behal

Senior Fianna Fáil figures are worried about the reputational damage of 1,000 VIPs coming to a high-powered EU political conference getting stuck in chaotic queues at Dublin Airport.

The concerns about flight chaos threatens to overshadow an official welcome for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s party to the EU group.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin is hosting the shindig for his party’s colleagues across the European Union this weekend.

Among the delegates attending will be Prime Ministers, Deputy Prime Minister’s and European Commissioners.

But the problems at Dublin Airport are now causing concerns about the image of the country.

Fianna Fáil is a member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) in the EU. Mr Martin’s party will host the ALDE Congress for the first time over the next three days.

The Indo Daily: Keep calm and bring a carry-on — How to beat the chaotic queues at Dublin Airport

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"The ALDE event is bringing over 1,000 people, including senior politicians from across Europe, to Dublin and there are concerns about the image of the country if Dublin Airport is still a mess at the weekend,” a senior party source said.

Already, some delegates attending the event have already queried if the delays will hit them when on their way back home when passing through Dublin Airport. The chaos at the airport last weekend, when over 1,000 passengers missed flights, made international headlines.

"We’ve had colleagues across Europe who are coming her already raising concerns about how long it will take to get back,” a source said.

While Prime Ministers will fly in to the VIP entrance at Dublin Airport, the majority of delegates will have to run the gauntlet of the Dublin Airport queues with every other passenger. The conference ends on Saturday, meaning delegates will be leaving over the Bank Holiday Weekend.

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Speakers at the conference include the Taoiseach, Prime Minister of Luxembourg Xavier Bettel, Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the Netherlands Sigrid Kaag, European Commission Vice President Margrethe Vestager and European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson.

Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanishyna will also speak at the event.

ALDE granted temporary membership to the party founded by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Servant of the People. Full membership of the party will be discussed at the ALDE Party Council in Dublin.

Dublin Airport is putting a new plan in place for the management of queues this weekend, with passengers only being let in within a particular timeframe ahead of their flight.

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