Strong argument required to support purchase of new Government jet, McDonald says

Strong Argument Required To Support Purchase Of New Government Jet, Mcdonald Says
The current Learjet 45 used by ministers entered service in 2004
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By Rebecca Black, PA

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald has said she would want to hear a very strong argument to support the purchase of a new Government jet.

Government officials are currently considering options around purchasing either a new or second-hand jet for ministerial travel before 2024 when it is recommended that the current aircraft be replaced.


The current Learjet 45 used by ministers entered service in 2004.

It is mainly used to transport ministers, but can also be used by the military, to transport VIPs or as an air ambulance.



The leader of the opposition said she wants scrutiny around the Government jet.

“I think for the most part that our work can be done by travelling on commercial airlines,” she told RTÉ Radio’s This Week show.

“I’ve never been on the Government jet, to be honest I couldn’t even recite the purposes for which the Government jet has been used.


“I think you’d have to advance a very strong argument. I’d like to see a bit of scrutiny around how it is used, what it is used for.

“I also accept that the job of Government is extremely busy, and you do have to travel, and you’re travelling for the purpose of work so you need to be in good shape to actually represent the country well.

“But my own view and my understanding is that other governments and other leaders of government use commercial airlines, and we know certainly in terms of the carbon footprint and damage to the environment, you are better to use commercial airlines rather than private jets, whether it is for government or anywhere else.”

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