July 28, 2020
Airports contradict Tánaiste on airport welfare data checks – Darren O’Rourke TD

Darren O RourkeSinn Féin spokesperson on Transport Darren O’Rourke has called on the government to provide answers on who exactly is collecting data on people’s employment status at our airports.

The Meath East TD’s comments come as the airport authorities this morning denied any knowledge of such information being collected.

Speaking this morning, Teachta O’Rourke said: “Over the weekend it was revealed that this government are now using people’s travel history against them when it comes to social welfare payments.

“Apart from being a nasty vilification of social welfare recipients, this move raises serious questions around data collection.

“On Sunday, the Tánaiste said that ‘the Department of Social Protection gets information from the airports’ in relation to people’s employment status.

“This morning I put this assertion to both the Dublin Airport Authority and the Shannon Group, with both airport authorities denying they collect such information, and both saying they had no details on who collects such data in their facilities.

“This contradicts the statement from the Tánaiste and now raises further questions about what data is being collected, by whom and for what purpose.

“It is equally worrying that the airport authorities do not seem to be aware who operates on their premises and for what reason.

“The representative from the DAA said he actually learned about the social welfare checks in the airports through media reports.

“This morning’s interaction with the DAA and Shannon Group raises more questions than answers, so urgent clarity is now needed from the government on this issue.”

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