Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Limerick-Foynes Bus Service.

asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will state the amount of the subsidy being paid in respect of the bus service operating between Limerick and Foynes; if he is aware that the public are excluded from the use of this service, although it is frequently operating with very few passengers, and the suspension for some time past of the ordinary bus services on the route is causing a good deal of hardship in many districts.

The Limerick-Foynes bus service is maintained at a loss averaging recently about £7 a week. I am aware that the public generally are excluded from the use of the service. The service is provided primarily for the benefit of the State staff employed at the Shannon Airport (Foynes) who are unable to obtain living accommodation at or near Foynes. Certain other persons associated with the operation of the airport, such as the staffs of the air transport companies, are also permitted to use the bus. Having regard to the requirements of the persons for whom the service is designed, and for whom it is already on many occasions inadequate, it is not possible to make it available to the general public.