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Dublin: 5 °C Thursday 23 January, 2020
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The government has bought an airport in Connemara for €2.5 million

Aerfort Na Minna is 28 kilometres west of Galway City.

Image: Google Street View

THE IRISH GOVERNMENT has completed its purchase of Aerfort Na Minna in Connemara in an effort to ensure the long-term future availability of flights to the Aran Islands.

The purchase, which was funded by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht’s budget allocation, means that all four airports on which the Aran Islands air service depend are in state ownership. 

Cabinet approved plans to buy the airport 28 kilometres west of Galway City last month. 

Aer Arann Islands, a division of Aer Arann, operates from the airport with regular flights to the Aran Islands of Inis Mór, Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr. Plans by the government to buy the airport had been mooted for some years due to the threat that services to the islands would be withdrawn.

PastedImage-81343 Source: Google Street View

Government Chief Whip and Minister of State Seán Kyne announced the completion of the purchase at a cost of €2.75m in a statement this evening. 

“Aerfort Chonamara is of strategic importance to the communities of the Aran Islands as it is the mainland landing point for the air service to the islands.

“Having Aerfort Chonamara in State ownership provides certainty and assurance to the communities on Inis Mór, Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr as regards the Government’s long-term commitment to this lifeline transport connection,” Minister Kyne added.

The airport offers three or four flights to the islands per day in the wintertime, and over twenty flights to and from the islands daily during the summer months.

- With reporting from Christina Finn 

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