– Latest figures reveal only 5 IDA site visits made in 2015 and 2016 –
Fianna Fáil Senator Robbie Gallagher says Fine Gael is failing to kick start the economy of border counties in favour of investment in the Greater Dublin Region.
New figures released to Fianna Fáil reveal that there have only been 5 IDA site visits to Cavan and Monaghan in 2015 and 2016. In contrast, there were 446 visits in Co. Dublin over the same period.
Senator Gallagher explained, “These figures confirm something that people in Cavan and Monaghan are well aware of. There has been a complete vacuum of investment in the border counties over the past 5 years, and this pattern is continuing under the new Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor. It is blatantly obvious that the Government is solely focused on attracting investment to Dublin and the surrounding commuter counties, while allowing the regions to lag behind.
“Counties like Cavan and Monaghan have been all but ignored by the IDA. There have only been 4 site visits to Co. Monaghan over the past 2 years. Cavan fares worse – it has only had one visit in 2016 and none at all in 2015. These figures speak for themselves.
“Only last year 140 people lost their jobs when the Bose factory in Carrickmacross closed. Despite meetings with then Minister Richard Bruton to seek alternative investors that site still remains empty. I wrote to Minister Mitchell O’Connor last month asking her to visit the facility and meet with local representatives but no date has been forthcoming.
“This Government appears content to ignore this region. Not only is economic investment well below what’s needed, but essential services like broadband are among the worst in the country. Fine Gael and their Government partners need to get serious about investing in the rural economy. Without dedicated job creation initiatives, communities will continue to decline, and young people will leave to go and work in larger towns and cities.
“We need a whole of Government approach to the regions. Quality broadband and attracting investment to the regions go hand in hand. No amount of Government spin will change the fact that not enough is being done”, concluded Senator Gallagher.