Congratulations to Aer Lingus (or Air Fungus as I used to call it) for choosing to locate its British hub at Belfast International Airport. It opted for Aldergrove instead of Birmingham and the re-instatement of the direct link to London’s Heathrow will soon be a reality once again. What has caused me a great deal of mirth is the reaction of people around Shannon Airport who will lose out on the back of this decision.
First of all I need to state how only the Irish could have conceived an international airport in the middle of nowhere. Who wants to land at a place surrounded by pig pens and cattle grids? I’m surprised even the terminal floors weren’t carpeted with cow shit. Airports around the world need to be concentrated close to major centres of population, not close to farms whose principal occupants have names like Ermintrude and Babe. Aer Lingus has done the right thing by choosing the island’s second largest population conurbation for its relocation.
But what of reaction in the Republic? Where supposedly nationalist camaraderie and bon homie towards ‘the North’ are foundations of that country’s culture? The people are revolting (not the same meaning as if I was saying the people of South Armagh ‘are revolting’, you understand!). TDs, bishops, local workers, even the Provo apologists who clamour for the establishment of an all-island economic unit doth protest too much. Fine by me. The bigger the partitionist mentality, the better. It only goes to prove that the two parts of the island are competitors, not colleagues. It has taken the Aer Lingus move to finally bring reality to the surface. For that, as well as for the economic well-being of South Antrim, we Unionists should be thankful.