1985: The Start of Operations at an Irish Airport

October 25, 1985

A newly built international airport in the Republic of Ireland began operations with three charter flights of Aer Lingus (the country’s flag carrier) traveling to Rome. Ireland West Airport, which is officially known as Ireland West Airport Knock, is located in County Mayo in the western part of Ireland. This airport is 3.5 miles (5.6 kilometers) from Charlestown and 12.4 miles (20 kilometers) from the village of Knock.

A little over seven months after the milestone flights of those Aer Lingus planes from Ireland West Airport, this facility was formally opened. A major force behind the construction of this airport had been a local priest named Monsignor James Horan (1911-1986), who saw it as a pivotal way to attract more people from the world over to visit Knock and in particular the longstanding Roman Catholic shrine and pilgrimage site located there.

Horan died not long after the dedication of the airport that he staunchly promoted. A bust of him is now displayed at that airport. A Wing and a Prayer, a musical highlighting Horan’s efforts on behalf of Ireland West Airport, had its premiere in 2010 at the Royal Theatre in the County Mayo town of Castlebar.

Ireland West Airport is the country’s fourth busiest airport. The top three busiest airports in the Republic of Ireland are those serving the capital city of Dublin; the city of Cork; and the town of Shannon.

Photo Credit: Djm-leighpark (licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en)

For more information on Ireland West Airport (Ireland West Airport Knock), please check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ireland_West_Airport

Additional information on the busiest airports in the Republic of Ireland is available at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_busiest_airports_in_the_Republic_of_Ireland

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