Minister of State in the Department of Finance Seán Fleming has said the chaos at Dublin Airport is a "reflection of bad management, full stop".

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Claire Byrne, he said what has happened is "not acceptable" and the problem must be fixed properly - not just for one weekend.

Mr Fleming said staff should not have been made redundant, and that during the Covid-19 pandemic billions of euro was pumped into employment schemes so that people could stay on the books.

"Why the daa chose to let so many people go, when there was Government support to keep them on the payroll during that period, I find inexplicable," he said.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin told the Dáil today that the daa must ensure that serious delays at Dublin Airport "do not happen again" and that "there is an onus on daa to organise its human resources to develop the capacities required."

Mr Martin said the delays are "unacceptable for passengers and their families."

He was responding to Sinn Féin TD Ruairí Ó Murchú who said he hopes there will not be a repeat of the delays we have already seen.

The deputy asked if security staff from state services could be used and said Ireland has been made a "laughing stock".

People Before Profit TD, Richard Boyd Barrett said the situation at Dublin Airport is a catastrophic failure of management and Government.

"Some of us were warning the Government about this for months," he said.

Mr Boyd Barrett said there is a very bitter price being paid for daa CEO Dalton Philips' decision to get rid of 1,000 skilled workers on decent pay and conditions.

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'An emergency response'

Sinn Féin's spokesperson on Transport Darren O'Rourke said earlier that if the plan outlined today does not include additional resources, people cannot have confidence that there will not be repeat scenes.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, he said: "We need a commitment, a cast iron guarantee that the scenes we saw last weekend won't happen during this weekend, or this month or this summer.

"So we need to plan for the whole summer to provide the type of assurance that people need because if we don't have assurances from the daa, the natural response will be from people to panic to be concerned to arrive earlier."

The daa needs to look for resources within the daa group, which includes Cork airport, he said, as well as within the resources of airports around the country.

"I think it really is a case of an emergency and an emergency response."

daa plan 'a temporary measure'

Jerry Brennan, SIPTU organiser with the aviation sector, said the daa plan is a rerun of what was done last March.

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, Mr Brennan said it is a temporary measure and many of the staff are not trained to carry out airport security searches.

"They can’t work the x-ray screening, they can’t do body searches, they can’t do swab testing for illegal substances," he said.

"People that are being appointed as new ASU staff are only trained to a certain level, so they can only do some of the tasks that are required."

Mr Brennan said this was not caused by Covid-19, but by a voluntary severance scheme that was introduced at the early stages of the pandemic.

He said the weight of this is still on the shoulders of those ASU staff that remained after the scheme.

"People were still waiting for their exit package and still being encouraged to exit, experienced officers," he said.

"I would ask the question - with those people waiting to leave, why were the daa looking to recruit new people? What was the purpose of that?," he said.

Mr Brennan said staff are exhausted and at breaking point, and he does not believe overtime is the answer.

He said the rate of pay and terms and conditions being offered to bring people into the job and maintain them are "totally inadequate".