Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Clare Rita McInerney has accused Fine Gael of being completely out of touch with people in Clare when it comes to jobs in the county.

Despite a series of recent job losses at Roche, Moneypoint, Avara and Molex, Minister Pat Breen is claiming “there isn’t a crisis even though people would like to think there is”.

“Since July this year, there have been almost 850 jobs lost in Co. Clare – if that is not verging on a crisis I don’t know what is. The fact of the matter is Fine Gael has concentrated its job creation strategy on the greater Dublin area and has turned a blind eye to the regions”, said McInerney.

“The latest IDA site visit figures speak for themselves, there were only 17 IDA led visits to Clare in the first half of this year; compare that with 146 for the same period in Dublin.

“Clare has an international airport and the country’s second largest port on its doorstep. It should be a prime location for multinational investment but under Fine Gael has fallen off the radar completely.

“There are excellent small and medium run businesses in this county that support thousands of jobs. They are the backbone of our local economy and should be acknowledged and supported. The role that the Local Enterprise Office and the Clare Local Development Company is invaluable. However, we still need outside investment, particularly since so many of our major employers have either left in recent months and years, or are planning to shut over the next year or so.

“The information vacuum in relation to the plan for Moneypoint is also creating unnecessary uncertainty and both the ESB and the government need to outline the plan for the future of the site.

“Fine Gael needs a reality check. There are very real threats to jobs here in Clare – spiralling insurance costs, high rents and rates and even accommodation issues are putting real pressure on businesses here and unfortunately this government has proven that it is more concerned with making announcements than delivering for the people”, concluded McInerney.