There’s been a “dramatic” fall in IDA sponsored site visits to Galway over the past three years. Figures released by the IDA show there were only 15 visits by potential investors last year, compared to 18 in 2012, and 35 in 2011.
Fianna Fáil TD for Galway West Éamon Ó Cuív has expressed serious concern about the fall in visits, suggesting that the data is further evidence that job creation in Galway is slipping further down the political agenda.
“The county is being left behind as the Government continues to focus all its investment opportunities in and around the Dublin region. The regions, and particularly rural areas, are being overlooked.”
He added that the “much talked about recovery” is not being felt by people in Galway. “The Government’s flawed policies have seen the withdrawal of many services from rural Ireland, creating a two-tier, urban-rural divide,” he warned.
“IDA investment has the potential to rejuvenate communities and reinvigorate the local economy. Towns across the county have suffered disproportionately as a result of the economic downturn and need outside investment to activate and sustain a viable recovery.”
Deputy Ó Cuív also called on the Taoiseach and the new Minister for Rural Development Ann Phelan must work towards ensuring a more equitable distribution of jobs throughout the country.
“In view of the huge improvement in infrastructure, including broadband and road links between the east and the west during the term of the last Government, there is no excuse for major industry leaders not to want to invest in areas in Galway,” he said.
Fianna Fáil has called for a “more coherent” policy of balanced regional development, according to Deputy Ó Cuív.
“Since this Government took office there has been very little development west of the Shannon. It cannot continue to support urban-only policies, while leaving rural Ireland languishing behind without investment.
“The Government must urgently reassess its strategy. It should be providing more opportunities for young people in Galway instead of forcing them to move to the capital or further afield in order to secure a job.”