Fianna Fáil’s Jobs and Enterprise Spokesperson Niall Collins TD has said that he is shocked, and disappointed, at the massive amount of vacant IDA properties across the country.

“In a recent parliamentary question to Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Enterprise, I was informed that there are 85 vacant IDA properties nationwide out of a total of 137. That’s nearly two in every three sites lying empty, and idle,” said Collins.

“Only five of these vacant properties are located in Dublin City or County. 94% of all IDA vacant properties are located outside the capital in town, villages and communities that are desperate for FDI investment.”

“For the past five years, and especially since they got a strong message from rural Ireland at the last General Election, the Minister and her Government colleagues have been shouting from the rooftops that they are spreading the jobs to the regions.”

“However, the high number of vacant properties in the regions underlines how poorly Fine Gael has delivered for rural Ireland.”

“This isn’t new. Fine Gael has consistently implemented policies that support a two-tier Ireland.”

“Earlier this month, Fianna Fáil uncovered that 46% of all IDA site visits in the first six months of 2016 were in the capital and that nearly half all of all IDA supported jobs were located in the Greater Dublin Area.”

“Having IDA sits vacant, when entire communities are crying out for good paying employment makes no sense. The Government have been asleep at the wheel for the past year.”

“While Brexit brings a significant number of challenges, there are opportunities for Ireland to attract investment from companies who want to be located in an English-speaking EU member country.”

“The Department, the IDA and Enterprise Ireland need to get their act together; develop a plan to win investment, and locate these investments, where possible, in the IDA sites that have already been paid for.”

“Ireland needs to send a clear and unequivocal message that it’s open for new FDI arising from the decision of the UK to leave the European Union.”

“Minister Mitchell O’Connor’s response to date has been nothing but inept and pathetic. Our communities deserve better,” concluded Collins.