Fianna Fáil deputy for Roscommon-Galway, Eugene Murphy, sayd Fine Gael’s claim that it is bringing investment to regional Ireland amounts to nothing more than “empty promises”.
Deputy Murphy was commenting after his party received a Parliamentary Questions reply from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovations which shows that one in two IDA site visits in the first half of 2017 were in Dublin.
“Five counties, some of whom still have excessively and stubborn high rates of unemployment, received just one IDA site visit so far this year,” Deputy Murphy commented. “Of the 323 IDA site visits, 155 or 48 per cent took place in the capital. County Roscommon only had one IDA site visit by the second quarter of 2017, only one visit in 2016, and two in 2015, which is really abysmal.
“Similarly, County Leitrim and County Mayo only had two IDA site visits by the second quarter of 2017, which shows rural areas in the west being largely ignored once again. Large parts of the country aren’t on the IDA’s or indeed the Government’s radar.
“The facts speak for themselves. In 2015, only 180 jobs were created by Enterprise Ireland supported companies in County Roscommon. In 2016, there were only 133 new jobs created by Enterprise Ireland in County Roscommon. IDA jobs created in Roscommon in 2015 amounted to 108 and to just 34 in 2016.”
“During the same time periods for 2015 and 2016, in Dublin there were over 19,000 new jobs created by Enterprise Ireland supported companies, and over 15,000 new jobs created by IDA supported companies.”
Deputy Murphy said unless this pattern changes rural Ireland will continue on this downward spiral.
“Communities will decline and our young people will be forced to head to larger towns and cities in search of work. There needs to be a rural strategy put in place to ensure that the infrastructure is in place to attract investment and to encourage local businesses to grow,” he concluded.