Offaly is not getting the attention it needs from the IDA. That’s according to Fianna Fail’s Barry Cowen, who this week slammed the development group’s recent performance record in the county.
According to figures revealed in answer to a parliamentary question this month, just one IDA sponsored site visit by potential investors to Offaly took place last year – down from three in 2012.
The figures also show that while 21 new jobs were created in IDA client companies in Offaly last year, 26 jobs were lost.
“Offaly is clearly not on the government’s job creation agenda,” Deputy Cowen said in a statement on the matter this week, adding that the government is not doing enough to showcase the benefits of new companies setting up in Offaly.
Some 900 IDA client company jobs currently exist in Offaly. However Deputy Cowen outlined worries that the government doesn’t seem interested in pushing the county as a potential location to international firms in the future.
“We know from experience that when the IDA turns its focus to a particular area it can have huge success and great results for the community,” he said.
“For instance Co Louth received 19 IDA visits between 2012 and the first eight months of 2013. The focus on Co Louth in 2012 resulted in eBay announcing 450 jobs in Dundalk that year, among other high profile job announcements for the county. We now need to see that focus brought to other counties including Offaly.”
Of the 26 counties in the State, Offaly was one of 14 who had fewer IDA sponsored site visits by potential investors in 2013 than 2012. It’s also one of seven counties where the number of IDA client company jobs lost in 2013 outstripped the number of jobs created. Nationwide a total of 13,367 jobs were created, while 6,296 were lost.