Longford-Westmeath Fianna Fáil TD Robert Troy has said it is extremely frustrating to see certain counties, specifically Longford, left behind this year by the IDA as is pushes for new investment into the country.

Deputy Troy said: “There were over 5,000 people signing on the Live Register in Longford last month and we need every effort made to secure new employment.  The most significant factors in solving the jobs crisis will be consumer confidence and growth in small businesses but we must ensure that there is a balance struck in relation to foreign direct investment. 

“I have previously raised the issue of the midlands being of apparent low priority to the IDA.  It is essential that we have balanced regional development.  There is clearly a bias in favour of Dublin and this has to be addressed.”

In response to a question from my party colleague Michael McGrath, Minister Richard Bruton confirmed that 85 of the 162 (52%) foreign investor visits to Ireland in the first five months of the year were to Dublin.

As well as Longford the following counties have also received no visits by potential foreign investors: Donegal, Leitrim, Roscommon, Monaghan, Kildare, Meath, Carlow, Laois, Wexford, Kerry and Tipperary.

Deputy Troy said: “The Government needs to redouble its efforts to ensure there is a better regional spread and that potential investors are given a range of location options.  There is a strong skill base in Longford and Westmeath and I believe the transport links to the midlands would be attractive to companies looking to locate in Ireland.”