Lack of IDA site visits in Kilkenny 'not good enough', says TD

Darren Hassett

Reporter:

Darren Hassett

Email:

darren.hassett@kilkennypeople.ie

Kilkenny’s pitch for global investment

Minister Pat Breen at the launch of Invest Kilkenny in the Medieval Mile Museum

Fianna Fáil TD, Billy Kelleher, has said the number of Industrial Development Agency site visits to Kilkenny is "not good enough".

The Kilkenny People previously revealed that Kilkenny was one of ten counties to have zero IDA site visits in the first quarter of this year while Dublin had a total of 69.

Deputy Kelleher said: "The Minister of State has told us that 4,500 of the net 10,000 jobs created by IDA Ireland last year were outside Dublin, which means that 5,500 jobs were created in Dublin.

"The reality is that 55% of the net job creation was in Dublin and 45% of it was in the rest of the country, which rather proves my point. The Government's site visits policy is also relevant in this context.

"It is simply not good enough that ten counties, including Cavan, Donegal, Kerry, Kilkenny, Longford, Monaghan and Wexford, were not visited in the first quarter of 2018."

Last year Kilkenny County Council launched ‘Invest Kilkenny’ - a marketing strategy aimed at promoting the county as a unique commercial location.

The Council’s chief executive, Colette Byrne, called on agencies like IDA and Enterprise Ireland to “redouble their efforts” in attracting investment to a “vibrant” Kilkenny.

Deputy Kelleher added: "Having served in this Department previously, I am aware that IDA Ireland cannot direct a company to locate in a specific location. Companies tend to look at Ireland strategically when they are deciding where to locate.

"The Government can encourage and cajole companies to consider certain areas by showing a strong commitment to regional policy. IDA Ireland can also be cajoled to encourage companies to locate in the regions. This was done previously and it can be done again.

"More importantly, it must be done again if we are to ensure the regions do not continue to fall further behind Dublin."