BY SIOBHAN CRONIN
WEST Cork and the Wild Atlantic Way would be devastated by the loss of Cork airport, a major European TV executive said last week.
Dee Forbes, the Drimoleague native now heading up Discovery Networks’ northern European arm, said the region cannot let Cork Airport be downgraded.
Speaking to The Southern Star, Dee, who commutes weekly from her home in Glandore to London, said she was concerned over reports about the future of the airport.
And, she warned about the possible takeover of Aer Lingus by British Airways parent IAG: ‘If the slots to Heathrow go, we may as well write off the Wild Atlantic Way and West Cork,’ she said.
‘We need to get a guarantee on these slots or they will be sold,’ she said.
Ms Forbes was in Cork to address a business lunch organised by the Network Cork organisation of Cork businesswomen, in association with Cork Chamber.
‘That Friday evening Aer Lingus flight from Heathrow to Cork gets me to Glandore in time for dinner. West Cork lets me recharge my batteries,’ she told the audience of over 120 women
‘You would not believe the number of people doing the same commute as me every week.’
The Clonakilty-educated TV boss oversees a network of channels with 69 million monthly viewers.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA), Pádraig Ó Ríordáin, was due to meet with Cork North West TD Áine Collins this week regarding the situation at Cork Airport. Having broken ranks with her Fine Gael colleagues, she said that she would be asking DAA ‘to park’ Cork Airport’s debt, which she claimed is ‘strangling the airport.’
However, the Minister for Transport, Mr Pascal Donohoe, insisted that there is no evidence to support claims that Cork Airport is suffering a downgrade by stealth.