A leading organisation which is responsible for attracting and developing foreign investment in Ireland, sponsored no companies to come and visit Donegal this year.
To add insult to injury, the IDA only sponsored two such visits to Donegal last year, a county whose unemployment rate has spiralled in recent years.
The figures have been released by the Minister for Finance. Of the 61 new IDA backed investments in Ireland in 2011, not one was made in Donegal. Last year the Government and the IDA decided to remove the base office for the North West Regional Manager from Letterkenny to Sligo. There are 12 current IDA funded companies in the county and these companies created a net 249 jobs in 2011.
The news has spurred the Donegal North West TD, Charlie McConalogue strongly condemn the government in its neglect of Donegal.
Deputy McConalogue said: “I find it incredible that not one potential foreign investor has been taken by the IDA to visit Donegal so far this year. It is clear that there is a failure when it comes to regional spread of IDA development, shown by the fact that most of the visits so far this year took place in Dublin.”
He added that Donegal has a proven itself to be a place to be a region where international companies can succeed. “There are 12 current IDA funded companies in the county and these companies created a net 249 jobs in 2011. This is a significant creation in the current economic climate and is a strong basis for the IDA and the Government to demonstrate to new investors that Donegal is a county to consider and one where they can succeed.”
He urged the IDA to change their approach in relation to Donegal and to allocate the region a fair share of Government and IDA time and effort, I believe Donegal is a county which can attract companies that can make the county their home one where they can flourish,” he said.