People should be flown into smaller airports and bused to Dublin, a member of the Oireachtas Transport Committee says.

Fianna Fáil TD Cathal Crowe was speaking after the committee heard that 4,200 bags are currently laying unclaimed at the capital’s airport.

Deputy Crowe told The Hard Shoulder he still has ‘concerns’ over Dublin’s capacity.

“I think the solution largely lies in scheduling some of these flights out of Shannon and perhaps Cork.

“I’ve visited all three major airports in Ireland over recent weeks… We’ve Dublin still trying to wrap their arms around 3.1 million or so passengers this month.

“A hugely lesser figure travelling through Cork and Shannon.

“We’re a small island – this isn’t the United States or Australia – it would be very feasible, simple and cheap to fly somebody into one of those other airports.

“Then they can rent a car or bus their way around to the other parts.

“We are an island nation, I don’t think Dublin should be – they’re commercially trying to drive all of this traffic through, and really struggling to provide for them”.

‘What is an improvement?’

Deputy Crowe says they were told by airport authorities there have been changes in Dublin.

“They came all guns blazing, telling us there’s improvements – now what is an improvement?

“If you take May 29th of this year, 1,400 people missed flights that day.

“They’re telling us it’s improved since then, I’m sure it has – there’s less flights being missed, but still people are missing flights.

“There’s 270 bags a day being misplaced, but there have been increases in terms of recruiting security staff.

“So things are improving in Dublin, but overall I think it’s really damaged the reputation of Ireland Inc this summer”.

The committee was also told it could take up to a month a half to get through the backlog of bags at Dublin Airport.

Main image: People queue at Dublin Airport in June 2022. Picture by: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo