Belfast Telegraph

Airline boss more gloom than zoom as he experiences heavy turbulence

The Republic is struggling under the weight of damage to its image abroad caused by the IMF and EU bailout.

That's not beginning to take into account the damage to its self-image and the burden of self-reproach, as people in all walks of Irish life wonder: "Did I make matters worse?"

While there are plenty of business evangelists out there who have urged Ireland to look forward to its future, "not wallow in the present," the chairman of Irish airline Aer Arann was more gloom than zoom when interviewed on RTE current affairs programme Prime Time.

Padraig O'Ceidigh said it was "almost impossible to run a business in Ireland at the moment". He said everything amounted to a "huge, huge struggle". "There are really good business people out there and fantastic employees who are losing their jobs day in, day out through no fault of their own."

As it battles the effects of heavy snow, it seems even the weather is against the Republic.

Mr O'Ceidigh, who almost lost his firm after a tough year, knows business struggles all too well.

But with the backing of English transport business Stobart, Aer Arann has emerged from examinership with all 320 of its staff.

Let's hope there can be more survival stories in these tough - not to mention snowbound - days for the Republic.