The Industrial Development Authority brought 61 new projects to Ireland last year - and not one of them came to Donegal. In fact, not one came to the North-West region of Donegal/Sligo/Leitrim.
Given these statistics Inishowen TD Charlie McConalgue said it would be impossible to get an economic recovery going in Inishowen if the trend continued. He was, he said, now calling for a ‘special case’ to be made for the county in general and Inishowen in particular
Speaking with the ‘Journal’ yesterday Deputy McConalogue, who obtained the figures from jobs minister, Richard Bruton, said the fact that existing firms here had done so well in recent times, despite the recession, proved that Donegal could do the business.
“There are 12 IDA companies in Donegal employing 1,870 people. Between them they created 249 jobs in 2011. This is particularly strong growth in the current climate. The strong performance of existing IDA client companies in Donegal proves the value of this sector to the local and wider economy. These firms continue to do well and provide sustainable employment.
“Their success shows that it is not only possible to do business in the North West, but it is also attractive for investors.”
The Inishowen TD said that IDA figures confirmed to him by the Minister Bruton clearly reinforce the need for a greater effort to attract foreign direct investment to the North West.
“Even in the midst of the Celtic Tiger boom hundreds of people left Inishowen on a Monday morning to find work in construction along the east coast. When the construction sector nosed dived it hit this region very, very hard.
“It would be my contention that the government should be paying particular attention to this region and this area in order to kick start a recovery here.
He went on: “While I very much welcome the fact that 61 new IDA client firms invested in Ireland last year, it is a great disappointment that not one of these was located in the North West.
“This clearly demonstrated the need for a greater focus on this region and reinforces the importance of having the North West Regional Manager based in Letterkenny.
“I believe that this is particularly relevant given Letterkenny’s status as one of the 9 Gateway towns as designated in the National Spacial Strategy.
“I am again appealing to the Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton to take an active role in ensuring that every effort is made to attract more client companies into the North West.”