“More of the same old rubbish” is how one councillor described a letter sent by the IDA to Mullingar councillors last week.
Cllr Ken Glynn said the only thing new in the letter was the acknowledgement that Mullingar is a Gateway town.
“These people have forgotten Mullingar exists. They have invested in our industrial park but what’s the point if nothing is coming in?” he added.
There was palpable frustration in the council chamber at last week’s Mullingar Area meeting when councillors received a reply from the IDA to a letter they had previously written asking why the town was being overlooked when it came to foreign investment.
The IDA letter emphasised that its focus for the Midlands is the Gateway of Mullingar, Athlone, and Tullamore.
“The letter points out that a number of jobs have been created in the Midlands, but it’s jobs in Tullamore and Athlone,” said Cllr Denis Leonard.
“You’d swear we are competing with 100 towns but there are only three Gateway towns. Look at how many visits there have been to Mullingar compared to the other towns. It all seems to be in Athlone. Why should one Gateway town be developed at the expense of others? We are just asking for fair play.”
Cllr Peter Burke said that getting even one business into Mullingar’s IDA park would have a domino effect, while Cllr Mick Dollard suggested writing back to the IDA to express their displeasure with the response.
“AIT is the major attraction for Athlone but we have been treated very badly; Mullingar has been largely overlooked,” he added.