Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Niall Collins has questioned the legitimacy of Fine Gael’s rhetoric that it is actively seeking to bring investment to regional Ireland.

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

Deputy Collins was commenting after a PQ reply from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovations shows that one in two IDA site visits in the first half of 2017 were in Dublin.

“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.

“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 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 Border Region seems to be particularly neglected in terms of FDI job promotion, and with Brexit coming down the tracks, we need to be actively looking to insulate the local economy with new, non-Brexit dependent jobs.

“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 in regional Ireland need,” concluded Collins.