Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Billy Kelleher TD has said that Fine Gael’s neglect of regional and rural Ireland has once again been highlighted by new IDA site visit data released to him.

“The Government’s claim that it is delivering good quality jobs to regional communities, in a balanced fashion, just doesn’t add up.

“Parliamentary reply data that I have received from Minister Humphreys show that of the 461 IDA site visits for the first nine months of 2018, nearly 1 in 2 visits were concentrated in the Greater Dublin Area.

“Fine Gael may point to reduced unemployment in the Midlands and border region, but most of the new jobs created are either part time or based in Dublin. We see very few new, well-paying jobs located in the regions anymore.

“Worryingly, 10 counties had one or less IDA site visit in Q3 2018 which covers July to September. Communities in Laois, Cavan, Monaghan, Leitrim, Carlow, Kilkenny and Roscommon are being left behind by the Government’s industrial strategy/

“I am also worried that not enough is being done to promote new FDI into border counties, who will be very exposed if any Brexit scenario materialises.

“FDI acts as a significant engine in the Irish economy by providing highly skilled jobs and indirect employment to local domestic businesses nationwide.

“While FDI cannot, and must not, be the sole priority of the country’s industrial strategy, it is a key driver of jobs’ growth, and supports indigenous enterprise.

“Successive Fine Gael led governments have failed to spread FDI promotion to the regions where jobs growth is urgently needed.

“Time and time again, Fine Gael attempts to spin the line that economic growth is hitting the regions, but’s clear that a two-tier recovery is still being felt across the country. These figures only serve to paint a damming picture of Fine Gael’s approach to communities outside of the Greater Dublin Area,” concluded Kelleher.