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Three IDA site visits to Donegal

By C.J.McGinley

THERE has been three site visits to Donegal so far this year by firms considering locating in Ireland, it has been confirmed.

Significant investments are in the process of being won for several locations outside Ireland’s three largest cities, the IDA has revealed.

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The agency said the “future pipeline for regional locations is exceptionally strong” despite confirming seven counties had not been visited by potential overseas investors in the first six months of this year.

The agency has maintained ‘signficant investments’ are in the process of being won for regional areas.

New figures presented Richard Bruton, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, show that out of 250 visits by firms, Dublin accounted for 144 or 57pc of them.

In a written Dail response to Fianna Fail’s Dara Calleary, he confirmed there were no site visits recorded in Carlow, Laois, Longford, Monaghan, Offaly, Tipperary and Wexford.

Other large urban centres outside Dublin received the majority of visits, followed by Cork (26), Limerick (15) and Galway (13).

Elsewhere nine counties recorded five site visits or less. Louth and Waterford got five, Wicklow and Westmeath had four, Donegal secured three and Meath got two. Roscommon, Mayo, Leitrim, Kildare, Kerry and Cavan got only one each.

However the agency maintained that significant investments are in the process of being won for regional areas.

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“The IDA markets Ireland on a regional basis, not on a county-by-county basis, so any county-by-county figures don’t measure the marketing of Ireland’s FDI offering at all,” said an IDA spokesman.

“The final decision on where to locate an investment does, and always will, ultimately reside with the client company and IDA will never lose a project for Ireland due to trying to force a company into a particular location.”

Deputy Calleary added: “The trend continues of rural areas being by-passed for IDA site visits and there needs to be a dramatic change in thinking otherwise the regions will be left behind forever.”

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