Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo-Leitrim Marc Mac Sharry says the government must wake up to the seriousness of the jobs situation in the North West and concentrate on coming up with new measures rather than focusing on its Republic of Photo Opportunities.

He made the comments after three companies across Donegal and Sligo announced plans to close plants over the coming months, with the loss of dozens of jobs.

“Fine Gael has neglected the North West for the past six years, choosing instead to promote employment opportunities in the Greater Dublin Area and commuter counties.  In the past few weeks alone, three companies have announced intentions to close their facilities in Sligo and Ballyshannon, resulting in dozens of job losses”, said Deputy Mac Sharry.

“The timing of these job losses is particularly difficult for the workers and families involved, coming just after Christmas, and I want to ensure those workers that I will be working with the various employment and government agencies to find alternative options for them.

“However, the government itself needs to step up to the mark.  Companies based in this region have been operating in a difficult trading environment for the past couple of years, and now they’re facing into a major Brexit challenge.  The border region is likely to be the most severely affected but we have yet to see any concrete plans from the government about how it intends to support businesses here.

“The Taoiseach and his government colleagues are fond of making big announcements but have failed to follow up on delivery.  This focus on spin over substance is wearing thin and people want to see infrastructural and economic investment in this region.  The North West has been left behind for too long – I want to see a fully resourced strategic plan for this area to ensure that this region can reach its true potential”.