SDLP and Sinn Fein clash over jobs blow

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The SDLP and Sinn Féin have clashed over the announcement that the first phase of the GPCE development will be built in Tralee rather than Derry.

Foyle SDLP MLA Mark H Durkan questioned whether the firm were ever serious about locating in Derry.

“This is extremely disappointing news and it is particularly unfortunate because people’s hopes and expectations had been raised that this company was to invest in Derry.

“You have to question whether or not this firm had ever any real intention to invest in our city given the favourable corporation tax rate in the South, or were we being used through a very public courtship as a bargaining tool for them to get a better deal in Kerry?” he said.

Sinn Féin councillor Maeve McLaughlin said Mr Durkan’s comments could jeopardise any possible future investment from GPCE.

“While I am disappointed that GPCE have decided to opt for Kerry for their phase one but I am also conscious that the company has proposed a five phase strategy for investment in Ireland.

“However the remarks from Mark H Durkan could jeopardise any future investment coming to Derry.

“The remarks from Mark H Durkan do not reflect the opinion of the majority of political or economic community in Derry who worked tirelessly to bring this company to the city.

“In fact this does not auger well for Derry bidding for the next phase,” she said.