Monday 18 December 2017

Kevin Myers: More subsidised companies likely to fail as fangs of reality bite

As we clear up the ruins of the Celtic Tiger, is it remotely possible we'll begin to conduct some post-mortems into how we got so many things wrong? We need to realise this now, while the corpse stiffens before our eyes, and learn our lessons: otherwise, given the chance again, our politicians will inevitably go down the same route, performing the same mistakes and killing another generation of golden opportunities.

Look at the wretched picture of Galway Airport, now pleading to be rescued from imminent bankruptcy by the State -- the very organisation that helped place it on the precipice in the first place. Galway Airport is the love child of the sentimentalised politics of independence and the rip-roaring tearaway Playboy of the Western World that was the Celtic Tiger.

It is hard to diagnose any real commercial logic in our airport policy -- this is because there was none. Airports were plonked by different govern-ments wherever they might win votes, regardless of actual need. Thus a relatively small area on the western seaboard, with a low population, got three "commercial" airports: Knock, Galway and Sligo.

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