The IDA, the body responsible for attracting foreign companies to Ireland, has said it cannot be expected to “corral a company to go to a particular part of the country unless it will make sense for their business”.
News of a record 13,367 jobs created by IDA client companies in 2013 was warmly welcomed last week but there was some disappointment expressed about the figures outside of Dublin and Cork.
Some 70 per cent of the jobs created in 2013 were in Dublin and Cork.
Fianna Fáil Deputy Dara Calleary said that while many areas benefited from new jobs at IDA supported companies last year, many other areas of the country seem to have lost out entirely. He said the IDA sponsored just three visits to Mayo during 2012 and up to September 2013. Calleary compared this to the number of IDA visits in Louth - 19 in the same period.
In 2012, Ebay announced 450 jobs in Dundalk. “The success of the IDA is such that when it focuses on investment in a certain area, that area benefits from job creation,” said Calleary.
“The focus must now be on ensuring a much greater focus on those areas that are in desperate need of a jobs boost and have continually lost out,” he added.
A spokesperson for the IDA said the body is promoting Mayo to foreign companies but: “The final decision on where to locate an investment ultimately resides with the client company, despite IDA efforts and financial support available in some regional locations.
“You cannot corral a company to go to a particular part of the country unless it will make sense for their business – particularly when the company’s alternative location may be Amsterdam, Barcelona, or Munich,” continued the spokesperson.
“Also, bear in mind that 'site visits', the primary means used by some to measure the IDA’s work, are in no way indicative of IDA’s efforts to market a region to overseas investors or indeed of IDA’s activities in a region.”