The announcement this week that 150 new jobs will be created in Castlebar over the next three years will be a major boost for the town and for An Taoiseach Enda Kenny. The Taoiseach has come in for some serious criticism from a number of quarters recently in relation to his delivery of jobs and investment in his home town. The announcement by Northgate Information Solutions that it intends to create these new jobs will be seen as a significant success for Mr Kenny following the criticisms laid at him.
The news was announced on Wednesday morning, during a conference on Partnership and Innovation hosted by the West/North West Hospitals Group in NUI Galway.
Welcoming the news the Taoiseach said: “I strongly welcome this news from Northgate. This is a company which clearly realises the potential of the people of Mayo to make a real contribution to the expansion of their business in this country. The Government remains committed to creating an environment for job creation and the 25 separate measures we introduced as part of our €500 million pro-jobs package in Budget 2014 are indicative of that."
The 150 jobs will be in the information technology sector along with a number of support roles for its existing services that it provides in Ireland. Northgate is a private company specialising in public service contract work. At present it runs a newborn hearing screening programme for the Health Service Executive and also operates a computer file management systems in hospitals.
Minister of State Michael Ring said: “I warmly welcome this announcement” and that “a final location has yet to be chosen, but it understood Northgate will be setting up in existing premises in the Castlebar area and recruitment is expected to begin in early 2014.”
The news was welcomed across all sectors in Mayo, with Mayo County Council county manager Peter Hynes saying: “This announcement is the result of much hard work by a committed team of people and we look forward to further significant announcements on the enterprise and investment front in the months ahead.”
CEO of Mayo County Enterprise Board and head of the Mayo Enterprise and Investment Unit, Joanne Grehan, said: “This is fantastic news for Mayo and the west region and both Mayo County Council and the Mayo County Enterprise Board look forward to working with Northgate and the other agencies to bring these new jobs, which are in IT, transactional services, and document management services, on stream.”
Oliver Kelleher, president of the Castlebar Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the news saying: “It’s a good day for Castlebar and the surrounding area. It’s a nice early Christmas present for the town and the people who will be employed following this announcement. Business in Castlebar welcome this news and it will be a great boost to the town and the people in it.”
Castlebar town councillor Harry Barrett, who has been a very vocal critic of the Taoiseach and his delivery of jobs and investment into Castlebar in recent times, also welcomed the announcement but said that a lot more still needs to be done. He said: “I will continue to fight for more jobs for Castlebar. This will bring some hope to the young people in the town that have no work. However, more needs to be done. The jobs debate that I've led over the last few months has certainly focused minds on what needs to be done and I'm glad to see that at last, new work is coming to our town.”