Cork East TD, Kevin O’Keeffe has said that he is deeply disappointed at the apparent hands off approach by the Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation to the Fermoy Business and Technology Park which has lain idle for over 15 years.
Deputy O’Keeffe was commenting following his attempts to highlight the issue of the Enterprise Park by way of a parliamentary question to the Minister.
“This facility was opened over 15 years ago, and to date, not one enterprise has chosen to locate itself there. While there has been some investment in town through the IDA in recent years, it’s a crying shame that more hasn’t been done by the Minister and state agencies under the aegis of her department to secure tenants for the site.
“I must commend the work of the Fermoy Enterprise Board over the last number of years. They have tirelessly sought investment in the park, but without the active support from the IDA and Enterprise Ireland, they have been unsuccessful.
“The town of Fermoy is very centrally located; on the main Cork-Dublin motorway, just 25 minutes to Cork City and only 30 minutes from the airport.
“Minister Mitchell O’Connor can continue to highlight falling national unemployment rates, but unless there is a targeted marketing campaign aimed at attracting either an Irish indigenous SME or potentially a small multinational, the people of North Cork will continue to suffer from unacceptably high unemployment.
“The Minister failed to inform me of any IDA site visits to the Park. One would have thought that if such a visit had taken place, she would have been happy to let us all know. Unfortunately, it seems to me that towns such as Fermoy are not a priority for Fine Gael.
“We know that when enterprises locate in towns such as Fermoy, supported by the IDA or Enterprise Ireland, better, well-paying jobs are created thereby creating a ripple effect in the local economy.
“Minister Mitchell O’Connor’s reply was half hearted and underlines the Fine Gael government’s abject failure at balanced regional economic development.
“It’s time that she left the bubble in Dublin, came to regional towns such as Fermoy to understand their concerns, and develop real action plans to deliver investment in facilities such as the Fermoy Business and Enterprise Park.,” concluded O’Keeffe