FF Leader meets with Midlands business leaders to discuss regional development

Published on: 14 February 2018

Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Longford – Westmeath Cllr Joe Flaherty says his party is committed to securing economic growth in Longford and the wider Midlands region.

Cllr Flaherty made the comments after securing a meeting between Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin and the President of the Midlands branch of IBEC, Ciaran Corcoran of Abbott Longford and other Midlands business leaders.

Cllr Flaherty said, “One of the greatest challenges facing Longford is securing continued economic development in the county and the wider Midlands region. Longford has suffered under Fine Gael. We haven’t seen our fair share of the resources when it comes to developing the infrastructure that is necessary to attract investment and jobs. Broadband remains under developed and our road network still needs significant investment.

“I organised this meeting to ensure the Fianna Fáil Leader got to hear first-hand the concerns of business leaders in Longford. These are the people that are already providing employment in the region and it’s important that their ideas and suggestions are taken on board regarding how we can achieve balanced economic development in the years ahead.

“The meeting was a constructive one and Micheál Martin set out Fianna Fáil’s priorities for bringing about balanced economic development. This is something which I will continue to follow up with the relevant Fianna Fáil frontbench spokespeople. It’s important that Longford’s voice is heard at national level.

“One of the greatest concerns raised at the meeting was the challenges posed by Brexit and the negative impact that it could have on the Midlands. Businesses in Longford are already having to deal with the devaluation of sterling and the prospect of barriers to trade.

“There is a feeling that the Government simply isn’t treating this issue with the seriousness that it deserves. The meeting heard that businesses need much greater assistance in sourcing alternative markets and preparing for the fallout associated with Brexit.”

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