Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Jobs Dara Calleary has welcomed new figures which show a net increase of 6,570 jobs created in IDA supported companies last year.

However Deputy Calleary has repeated his concerns about regional inequalities which have again seen certain regions lose out when it comes to foreign direct investment.

“The IDA must be commended for supporting the creation of thousands of jobs last year. Many of these are highly skilled positions in the high-tech and pharmaceutical industries, and are as a result of years of work and investment in building Ireland’s reputation as a global hub for these valuable sectors. The fact that such companies continue to choose Ireland as a base for their operations is a major vote of confidence in this country and its workforce,” said Deputy Calleary.

“While many areas benefited from new jobs at IDA supported companies last year, many other areas of the country seem to have lost out entirely. Figures that I received from a Parliamentary Question show that between 2012 and the first 8 months of 2013, the IDA sponsored only 1 site visit to Co Leitrim, just 3 to Co Mayo, 4 to Co Roscommon, 5 IDA visits to Co Donegal and 5 to Co Cavan. This compares to 50 IDA visits to Limerick, 66 to Cork and 348 to Dublin. In fact, Dublin accounted for 55% of all IDA site visits in the first 8 months of 2013.

“The success of the IDA is such that when it focuses on investment in a certain area, that area benefits from job creation. For instance, Co Louth received 19 IDA visits between 2012 and the first 8 months of 2013. The focus on Co Louth in 2012 resulted in EBay announcing 450 jobs in Dundalk that year, among other high profile job announcements in the county. This is most welcome and it’s a much needed boost for Co Louth. However, it’s time that other counties which have lost out repeatedly get the same level of focus from here on in.

“Similarly, Co Waterford which has suffered a high level of job losses and SME closures still does not have an IDA regional office. This must be rectified without further delay.

“The IDA has had great success over the years in attracting valuable foreign direct investment to this country. The focus must now be on ensuring a much greater focus on those areas that are in desperate need of a jobs boost and have continually lost out.”