Councillor calls for report into Donegal contribution to airport

Citry of Derry Airport.

Citry of Derry Airport.

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Independent Derry & Strabane Councillor Patsy Kelly has queried whether Donegal Council or the Irish Government provide finance for the City of Derry Airport.

Colr. Kelly raised the issue at the Council’s full June meeting held in the Guildhall on Thursday evening.

His comment came as the council reviewed minutes from its June Governance and Strategic planning committee meeting held earlier this month. This included a report on the Airport in which Council confirmed it provides more than £2m a year subvention to CODA(Operations) Limited for the running of the airport.

The councillors were told that a five year business plan to reduce subvention to under £2m in the medium term; and to engage with government stakeholders and other councils was being developed.

Speaking during Thursday’s Council meeting, Colr. Kelly asked: “Do we receive any money from Donegal County Council or the Republic of Ireland government for the upkeep of this airport?”

Derry & Strabane Council Chief Executive John Kelpie said he would be “happy” to bring a report on the matter before the Committee at a future date.

On a separate matter raised at the meeting, Independent Councillor Sean Carr called for the minutes of previous meetings to stipulate which Independent Councillor made particular comments.

He was speaking in regards to comments made by Colr. Patsy Kelly about the number of Donegal cars allegedly accessing the Pennyburn amenity site in Derry.

Colr. Carr said he wanted, as another Independent member, to distance himself from such comments.

Mr Kelpie said the minutes format had previously been looked at but said he was happy to bring back a fresh paper on this. Mr Carr pointed out that since the last time it was examined, the number of independent Councillors on Council had increased.