Fianna Fáil bye-election candidate for Carlow-Kilkenny Bobby Aylward has said official figures released under a Dáil parliamentary question show that Carlow has been completely ignored by the IDA under the current Government.
Mr Aylward made the comments after official figures released by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation show that only two IDA visits took place in Carlow in 2014.
“The fact that only two IDA visits took place in Carlow in 2014 clearly shows that Fine Gael and Labour are not serious about attracting investment into the county. The figures that I have obtained show that of the 359 IDA visits that took place last year, more than 200 of them took place in Dublin.
“This is a damming indictment of the Governments policy towards Carlow which has seen the county starved of much needed investment. In recent days we have had some candidates in the bye-election trying to hoodwink the public into believing that countless IDA visits have taken place in Carlow. However the official figures speak for themselves.
“What Carlow needs is a sustained investment drive, but the Government seems to think otherwise. The entire county is in danger of being left behind as the Government focuses its efforts on Dublin alone. If the Government is serious about job creation in Carlow it would be demanding that the IDA bring perspective investors to the county to showcase what is on offer in the region. Carlow will never benefit from IDA investment if companies are not even brought to visit the county in the first place.
“Ministers have failed to recognise that although major cities like Dublin may be feeling the effects of a recovery that sentiment has not yet reached all parts of the country, and Carlow is one of the areas still attempting to get back on an even keel.
“This regional imbalance is the hallmark of the Fine Gael-Labour Government’s jobs blueprint and unless it is addressed, economic development in Carlow will continue to under perform and the scope for further job creation will be lost.
“Fianna Fáil has been consistently calling for a more coherent policy to bring about balanced regional development. The IDA must be instructed to bring perspective investors to Carlow to encourage job creation. No amount of visits by Ministers over the course of the bye-election campaign will hide the fact that the IDA has only visited Carlow twice in 2014” said Mr Aylward.