Weston Airport sold for €3.5m

by Gazette Reporter
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THE sale of Weston Airport was completed last week, with the Lucan airfield being sold to a Galway-based civil engineering firm for €3.5 million.
The NAMA-owned airport had been bought by entrepreneur Jim Mansfield in the early 2000s for more than €4.5 million, but had since fallen into NAMA’s control, along with much of the Mansfield empire, including apartment blocks at Citywest and Palmerstown House.
The new owner, Brian Conneely, said last week that he plans to upgrade the radar system and buildings, with a focus on aviation education courses and innovative projects which he hopes could attract enterprise funding.
The sale of Weston Airport marks the first sale of an airport in Ireland for more than 30 years, and Brian Conneely & Co Associates said they were hopeful the sale would “mark a turning point” in Irish aviation, and act as a “sign of optimism” for the economy.
Last month, The Gazette reported that a sale was close and that there were no plans to develop the lands, as had been feared previously.
A spokesman for the new owners said this week that they were “delighted” with the purchase due to its “proud tradition in Irish aviation”, adding that they hoped to engage with local stakeholders.
“We are keenly aware of the desire in the local community also for sports, social and community facilities, and we will be examining the potential for such development in consultation with the local authorities and the local community in the coming months.”
Councillor William Lavelle (FG), who tabled an emergency motion at last month’s Lucan Area Committee (LAC) meeting asking any potential buyers of Weston to meet with the council, said that the offer still stood.
He said: “I hope that we have a positive working relationship with the new owners of Weston and would hope that they take the opportunity to get around the table with local councillors.
“The offer that was extended at the LAC last month still stands,” said Cllr Lavelle, who added that he has written to Conneely outlining this invitation.
Cllr Lavelle also warned that any surge in air traffic at the site would be “unwelcome”.
“While I would welcome any innovative projects, they would have to be scrutinised, as any intensification of air traffic would be unwelcome by local residents on a number of grounds, such as noise and pollution.”

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