Minister Donohoe officially launches Bus Ã‰ireannâ€™s revised routes to Shannon Airport and Clare Coast
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, made a special visit to the Cliffs of Moher and Shannon Airport in Co Clare today (Tuesday), to officially launch Bus Éireann’s enhanced services to both destinations, and the Clare coast.
The minister was welcomed at the Cliffs of Moher by Bus Éireann CEO, Martin Nolan, and Chairman, Aidan Murphy, along with Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience Director, Katherine Webster, and Clare County Council Cathaoirleach John Crowe. Minister Donohoe participated in a photocall at the famous beauty spot, to mark the official launch of the Route 350, Clare Coast, which services a section of the Wild Atlantic Way from Ennis to Galway via Lahinch, the Cliffs of Moher, Doolin and Ballyvaughan.
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Following a lunch briefing at the Cliffs of Moher Centre about the number of overseas and domestic visitors it now draws, Minister Donohoe travelled by bus to Shannon Airport, where he was greeted by Shannon Airport CEO, Neil Pakey, and Shannon Group Chairman, Rose Hynes.
The Minister posed outside the Airport with a bus used to service the route 343 Shannon Link, which is operated with funding from the NTA (National Transport Authority).
The 343 route now services Shannon Airport from Limerick City from 5am to midnight, Monday to Saturday, while also providing 10 services on a Sunday. Stops en route include Ennis, Shannon Town, and Shannon Industrial Estate. At the Airport the Minister was also briefed on the success of Shannon Airport Authority as a new independent entity, including the significant growth in passenger numbers and the importance of tourism and industry in the Midwest hub.
Speaking at launch of both routes today, Minister Donohoe said: “I am delighted to be in Clare today to launch Bus Éireann’s revised routes to Shannon Airport and along the Clare coast. Ensuring good connectivity for tourist and visitors to Ireland is key to growing our share of the tourism market and facilitating domestic travellers to go about their business in an efficient and timely manner”.
“I am particularly pleased to launch the 350 Clare Coast route, which services a section of the Wild Atlantic Way, which is Ireland's first long-distance touring route, stretching 2,500km in length. Less than a year old, the success of the Wild Atlantic Way is already visible, and acts as a huge draw for Irish people and those from overseas to the west coast of Ireland. I wish Bus Éireann every luck with its revised routes, which I’m sure will be very successful for the company and the passengers it serves.”
Bus Éireann CEO, Martin Nolan, said he was delighted that the Minister had travelled to Clare to officially launch the two routes. Mr Nolan said these enhanced routes were vital in terms of both tourism and the promotion of the Wild Atlantic Way, and connecting passengers from Shannon to Limerick. From there, they can easily connect onto Bus Éireann’s inter-regional and national route network.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Minister Donohoe for travelling to Clare today to officially launch two important routes in the region,” Mr Nolan said. “Shannon Airport is a strategic gateway for tourism into this region, and Bus Éireann provides important services to connect tourists and business people to their destinations via our improved 343 route. The Wild Atlantic Way has been an immensely successful Government-led initiative and the 350 Clare Coast route provides the perfect opportunity for both tourists and domestic visitors to sample one of the top trails along that route, from Ennis to Galway via a host of stunning seaside locations and popular towns. I would like to wish Minister Donohoe the best of luck in his new brief.”
Shannon Airport CEO Neil Pakey added: ‘We are delighted to welcome Minister Donohoe to Shannon Airport for his first official visit in his new role and, indeed, the Bus Éireann CEO, Martin Nolan. Shannon Airport is a key catalyst for growth for the west of Ireland and we look forward to working with Minister Donohoe to ensure the momentum already achieved here since the Airport moved to independence in January of last year, is continued. We recognise the key role also that Bus Éireann plays in providing access to and from Shannon for our passengers. We wish them well on their route initiatives and look forward to playing a part in the success of these services.”
Wednesday, 27th August, 2014