Donegal North East Fianna Fáil TD Charlie McConalogue has welcomed the decision by the IDA not to close its Letterkenny office.

Deputy McConalogue has also commended the IDA on its application to the Department of Finance for permission to appoint a new North West Regional Manager.

Deputy McConalogue said: “These are positive moves and I welcome the IDA’s response to the concerns that I raised in the Dáil and with Minister Bruton in relation to the need to maintain a Letterkenny office and to ensure that a North West Regional Manager is appointed with responsibility for attracting employment to the north-west region.

“However I would now urge the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton to immediately work with the Minister for Finance to ensure a derogation is given for the appointment of a new North West Regional Manager for the IDA.

“I would also be seeking that this new regional manager would be based, as before, in the Letterkenny office. I am concerned that although the news that the Letterkenny office is to be maintained is welcome, I believe the operations at that office would be significantly hindered by not basing the regional manager in the town.

“Having the North West Regional Manager based in Letterkenny has worked for Donegal and I think it has also been successful for the wider region. As the IDA has now committed to keeping the office open, I see no reason as to why the new manager would not be based there.  Anything less would amount to a very real downgrading of the role the office has played in recent years in attracting employment to Donegal and the north west”.

“I am urging Minister Bruton to take this point up with the IDA. I certainly will be working to ensure the IDA is aware of the importance of this. It has always been more difficult to attract jobs to the regions than to other, more central, parts of the country. That is why the Letterkenny office, and the appointment of a North West Regional Manger to be based there, is so critical.

Deputy McConalogue concluded: “I will certainly be keeping the pressure on the Minister and the IDA to follow-through on the appointment of a regional manager and the retention of the Letterkenny office to the extent that it can make a substantive contribution to the task of attracting new business and employment to the North West region and to Donegal.”