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O’Leary: Ryanair could move to UK over Irish covid restrictions

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has said his airline is beginning to move planes out of Ireland, and called for Transport Minister Eamon Ryan to “get the finger out.”

“I don’t need Ireland,” O’Leary told Newstalk breakfast this week.

“We can move to the UK,” adding that the government’s mandatory hotel quarantine policy had been “completely useless” because variants had still entered the country.

Additionally, O’Leary pointed out that 80% of the UK population was already vaccinated, and that British citizens could already enter the State via Northern Ireland, meaning travel restrictions with the neighbouring State made no sense.

O’Leary went on to accuse the government of constantly “deferring” to NPHET in their response to covid, stating that it is the job of politicians to act on behalf of everyone in the country, including the travel and tourism industries.

He added that it was his view that Ireland had overreacted to the covid-19 virus, and that it was now the job of the state to save Irish tourism.

Specifically, O’Leary was critical of Green Party Transport Minister Eamon Ryan, dubbing him “without doubt one of the worst Ministers for Transport ever” and “ineffective.” The airline boss claimed that a 10 point recovery plan for the airline industry was given to Eamon Ryan in July of 2020 last year, but that no action had been taken by the minister.

O’Leary went on to say that Irish people were ignoring the government by booking flights to destinations like Portugal and Spain even from the middle of June. he asserted that if European visitors were not allowed into the country by then, the Irish tourism industry would be devastated.

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