Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith says the Government is still not doing enough to support jobs in the border region.  His comments come following the release of CSO data on employment from Census 2016, which highlights 3 “unemployment blackspots” across Cavan and Monaghan.

Deputy Smith commented, “The latest Census 2016 data identifies Cavan town, Belturbet and Castleblayney as unemployment blackspots, with each of these areas registering unemployment rates of 35.8%, 33.5% and 27.7% respectively.  These levels of unemployment are particularly worrying – and are further evidence of the two-tier recovery which Fine Gael has presided over in the last 6 years.

“The border area has never been a priority for this Government, and it is only following Britain’s decision to leave the EU that the region has begun to feature on the Government’s agenda.  Since 2012 there have been 8 IDA site visits in Cavan and only 5 in Monaghan – that’s out of a total of 2,266 nationally.  Those figures speak for themselves and are a damning indictment of Fine Gael’s neglect of the region.

“The fallout from Brexit is the biggest challenge this country has faced in a generation and the border region will be disproportionately affected.  While the decision by the Taoiseach to assign special responsibility for Brexit to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney is welcome, it doesn’t fully recognise the enormity of the task ahead of us, especially here in the border region.

“With the unemployment situation so bleak in parts of Cavan and Monaghan, it is imperative that the Government comes up with a strategy to limit any further deterioration of the situation and to put supports in place for small businesses and entrepreneurs, which have the potential to create local jobs”.