Region’s focus should be on Job Creation – Talks on a possible Boundary Change are a distraction – BREEN

June 11th, 2010 - Pat Breen

Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen said today (Tuesday) that this Region’s energy should be focused on job creation and that the issue of any possible boundary extension into County Clare should be put to bed once and for all as it is only serves to distract from the real programme of work which needs to be done to restore this Regions competitiveness.

Deputy Breen’s comments follow information which he has received by way of parliamentary questions from the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, Batt O’Keeffe T.D., which show that County Clare is losing out in the number of site visits by potential investors over the number of years compared to Dublin, Cork and Galway.

From 2007 to date in 2010 there were 301 visits by potential investors to sites in Dublin City and County, 91 to Cork City and County and 67 to Galway City and County. While here in Clare, there were 40 visits and the majority of those were to sites in the Shannon Free Zone.

“These figures reveal that Dublin has received the lion’s share of job creation projects and that the rest of the country is left to fight it out for the remainder. As I have previously warned the IDA needs to deliver on their commitment in their “Horizon 2020” strategy to deliver 50% of their investments outside of the Dublin and Cork and these figures reveal the gap that needs to be bridged.”

“The reinstatement and extension of Air Services from Shannon Airport by Delta Airlines, Continental Airlines and the launch of four UK routes to Manchester, Bristol, Glasgow Birmingham with the creation of 20 jobs by Aer Arann/Aer Lingus has given this Region a much needed boost. Shannon Airport is the key driver for economic growth in the Mid-West and job creation in the Aviation Sector will be pivotal to any recovery in this Region.”

“Our Region’s energy must be focused on job creation and ensuring that Agencies like the IDA delivers on their commitments in the interest of balanced regional development. Talk of a boundary extension is a distraction from the real programme of work which needs to be done. The people of County Clare do not want any extension into this county and our views should be respected and the matter should be put to bed once and for all. This debate only serves to divide our Region and it is unhelpful.”

“If we are to break the cycle of unemployment and fuel an economic recovery in this Region, we must be working together.”

ENDS.

PQ REPIES UNDERNEATH FOR YOUR INFORMATION

DAIL QUESTION

NO. 98

To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation further to Parliamentary Question No. 103 of 12 May 2010, the number of site visits made by agencies under the aegis of his Department with a view to creating employment in Cork, Galway and Dublin in the years 2007 to date in 2010; the location of these visits; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Pat Breen.

* For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 25th May, 2010.

Ref No: 21408/10

R E P L Y

Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation (Mr. Batt O’Keeffe)

I have been informed by IDA that in the period from January 2007 to date in 2010, there have been a total of 469 site visits by potential investors to Dublin (City and County), Cork (City and County) and Galway (City and County). Details of the locations of these visits are set out in the attached tabular statement. Because potential investors regularly visit locations in both the city and the county on the one visit, it is not possible in the time available to give details of each of the itineraries undertaken. When the information becomes available, I will forward it to the Deputy.

Table showing the number of site visits to Dublin (city and county), Cork(city and county) and Galway (city and county ) in the period from January 2007 to date in 2010

Location 2007 2008 2009 2010 to date
Dublin City &County 86 92 68 55
Cork City and County 17 41 29 14
Galway City and County 17 14 22 14

DAIL QUESTION

NO. 103

To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation the number of site visits made by agencies under the aegis of his Department with a view to creating employment in County Clare in the years 2007 to date in 2010; the location of these visits; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Pat Breen.

* For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 12th May, 2010.

Ref No: 19541/10

R E P L Y

Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation (Mr. O’Keeffe)

I have been informed by IDA Ireland and Shannon Development that that since 2007, a total of 57 site visits were made by potential investors to County Clare and the Shannon Free Zone. A breakdown of these visits, by year and location is set out in the attached tabular statement.

Table showing the number of site visits for potential investors arranged by Shannon Development to the Shannon Free Zone in the period from the beginning of 2007 to date in 2010.

Year Number of site visits
2007 8
2008 10
2009 12
2010( end April) 5

Table showing the number of site visits for potential investors arranged by IDA to County Clare (including the Shannon Free Zone) in the period from the beginning of 2007 to date in 2010

Year Number of site visits Location
2007 6 All to Shannon Free Zone
2008 4 All to Shannon Free Zone
2009 10 6 to Shannon Free Zone 4 to Ennis
2010 (end April) 2 All to Shannon Free Zone