Donegal North East TD Charlie McConalogue has stressed the importance of retaining the IDA Regional Manager in Letterkenny. The Fianna Fáil Deputy has welcomed moves to finally fill the role of IDA North West Regional Manager, and has called on the Jobs Minister Richard Bruton and the IDA to keep the role in Letterkenny rather than Sligo.

 

In July last, Deputy McConalogue forced the Government to admit that they were intending to close the Regional IDA Office in Letterkenny and merge its with the Sligo IDA office.  Following pressure from Deputy McConalogue, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Burton has now granted an exemption to recruitment embargo to fill the position.

 

“It is a huge relief that this crucial role is finally being filled.  This is a key position for supporting employment in the Northwest and attracting investment to create more jobs. It would have been unacceptable to leave the position vacant for any longer in this climate,” said Deputy McConalogue.

 

“However I remain concerned by Minister Bruton’s indication that this role will now be based in Sligo rather than in Letterkenny, where it has been based for years.  In July, the Government admitted that plans were underway to merge the the IDA offices in Letterkenny and Sligo. They subsequently rowed back on this after strong representations and they committed to keeping the Letterkenny office open.

 

“Any decision to move the Regional Manager role away from the Letterkenny office raises real concerns about the commitment a meaningful IDA operation in Co Donegal. It is crucial that this position continues to be based in Letterkenny in order to ensure that Co. Donegal retains the IDA focus that it has had in the past and that it needs more than ever at this time.”

 

Deputy McConalogue concluded, “We cannot have a situation where the Letterkenny office would be downgraded over time. I will be pursuing the matter with the IDA and with Minister Bruton.”