DONEGAL TD Joe McHugh, has said that the State needs to focus on identifying and exploiting job creation and investment opportunities in rural Ireland.
Deputy McHugh was speaking following the launch by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, of the third annual Action Plan for Jobs.
“We are all aware of the challenges facing rural areas in Ireland in attracting investment and jobs, both from foreign companies but also from within Irish companies,” Deputy McHugh said.
“I have been working very closely with my Fine Gael colleagues in Cabinet to address the challenge of attracting jobs and investment into rural areas.
“I spoke to Minister Bruton last night on the development of investment and industry in rural areas. I highlighted to him the challenges that we face in creating the appropriate environment in order to attract investment from overseas companies, but also about the importance of using the existing structures and locations in the regions to increase jobs and local growth.
“In reply to a Parliamentary Question I submitted to the Minister last month, 618 additional jobs have been created in IDA client companies in my own county of Donegal since 2011.
“Minister Bruton has outlined that IDA Ireland has confirmed that in order to boost regional development and win new business, they have proposed to build new facilities in Letterkenny, Waterford, and Athlone. These locations have been chosen on the basis of projected opportunities, for which IDA Ireland are competing at present. I welcome the fact that starting and developing agri-fod and marine SMEs is one of the priorities of APJ 2014.
“I have invited Minister Bruton to Donegal to review these facilities and structures, as well as existing businesses and to help highlight and identify the opportunities that are already in place to encourage growth in both jobs and industry in rural areas.
“I want to acknowledge the positive work both Minister Bruton and the IDA are doing to promote Ireland as a positive place for business and I welcome the ongoing support from both in confronting the challenges facing rural areas around Ireland.”