In spite of adverse weather conditions, delays, diversions and setbacks, the spirits of those gathered for the official opening of Knock Airport in County Mayo could not be dampened.
Due to refuelling problems and poor weather conditions, the first inbound plane to Knock Airport from Southend-on-Sea in England was delayed by almost an hour and the second British Air Ferries viscount had to be diverted to Shannon. Celtic Air the independent airline planning to operate from Knock is also experiencing licensing and route difficulties.
Nevertheless, the Bishop of Achonry Dr Thomas Flynn blessed the airport. The official opening was conducted by Fianna Fáil leader Charles Haughey who believes that the airport at Knock gives a message
Of triumph over adversity, of difficulties overcome, of critics confounded.
A victory for local effort over central bureaucracy, a triumph of personal achievement against all the odds.
For Monsignor James Horan, the chief campaigner behind Knock Airport, the official opening was an unforgettable day.
An RTÉ News report by Jim Fahy broadcast on 30 May 1986.