Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo has said that the Government is continuing to overlook Ballina for vital investment. Deputy Calleary made the comments after the IDA announced that both Castlebar and Sligo have been selected as locations for ‘advanced units’ aimed at supporting enterprise development. Ballina has not been selected for such a facility.
Speaking following the announcement Deputy Calleary commented, “I welcome the announcement that Castlebar and Sligo have been selected by the IDA as locations for the placement of advanced units. However, it is disappointing that Ballina has been overlooked for investment yet again. This latest announcement makes it clear that Ballina is currently a low priority area for the Government and as a result it is in danger of being left behind.
“The lack of investment by the Government in Ballina is putting it at a clear disadvantage to the rest of the region. The IDA should be promoting a balanced and sustainable development plan to ensure that the maximum potential of Mayo and surrounding areas is realised. Unfortunately this is clearly not the case as Ballina is continually being starved of vital funding.
“Ballina is an ideal location for the placement of an advanced unit. It has an IDA park already in place that could facilitate such a unit. Ballina also has a talented workforce and a number of strong transport connections. The presence of an accessible road and rail network coupled with its close proximity to Ireland West Airport in Knock makes it ideal as an enterprise hub.
Deputy Calleary called on the government to ensure that Ballina gets the investment that it deserves from the IDA.
“The government must ensure that the IDA shows a meaningful commitment for new investment in Ballina. I accept that some of our existing facilities are currently expanding, however we need new companies to invest in the town also and our chances of securing this will be hampered by our exclusion this week. Ballina is constantly an afterthought for this government. This cannot be allowed to continue. Ministers need to recognise that while major cities are experiencing some economic growth, areas such as Ballina continue to struggle and need support to allow enterprise to grow.”