Fianna Fáil TD for Wexford James Browne has questioned the legitimacy of Fine Gael’s rhetoric that it is actively seeking to bring investment to the South-East region, including Wexford.

Deputy Browne made the comments after Fianna Fáil obtained new information which shows that just 3 IDA site visits took place in Wexford in all of 2017. This compares to a total of 327 site visits in Dublin.

Deputy Browne said, “Fine Gael’s claim that it is actively supporting well-paying jobs outside Dublin is nothing more than hot air and bluster.

“Five counties, some of whom still have excessively, and stubborn high, rates of unemployment received just one IDA site visit so far this year. Of the 323 IDA site visits, 155 or 48% took place in the capital.

“Of the 682 site visits that took place in 2017, 327 took place in Dublin. Fine Gael Ministers can go on radio and TV programmes and wax on about how they are creating jobs, but the facts speak for themselves – large parts of the country, including Wexford, aren’t on the IDA’s or indeed the Government’s radar.

“I’m fed up hearing the same response trotted out by the Government that multinationals only want to base themselves in Dublin. They have, of course, legitimate concerns about housing and access to broadband, but I don’t believe for a second that they are telling the IDA in every case that they only want to see sites in the capital.

“The evidence is clear on Fine Gael’s obvious bias towards Dublin in terms of promoting enterprise. They take the easy option instead of the right option. Since 2012, almost 50% of all IDA site visits were in Dublin.

“A two tier recovery has the hallmark of Fine Gael’s time in Government. They can deny it all they like, and keep repeating their mantra that they are creating jobs, but it’s not the jobs that counties such as Wexford need,” concluded Deputy Browne.