Hayes seeks foreign investment for County Tipperary towns
The case for increased Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in County Tipperary was made in the Dáil by Fine Gael Deputy Tom Hayes. While he did not want to be accused of bias against Dublin, the fact was that 80% of foreign direct investment goes to the large urban centres of Dublin, Cork and Galway.
While he acknowledged the work of the IDA and the past success of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation he urged everyone involved in attracting foreign direct investment not to be complacent.
“I encourage the Minister to consider the rural areas in the country when courting multinational investment,” he said. “My constituency has suffered jobs losses in recent years in Clonmel, Cashel, Carrick on Suir, Thurles and Tipperary town. Empty factories are available in each of these towns and areas. I call on the Minister to give his attention to these locations. Huge opportunities seem to be available for large-scale businesses in rural locations such as these.”
“There is an advance factory in Tipperary town which is top class, and two more sites available,” he said. “In Cashel, Johnson & Johnson had a state-of-the-art facility which was closed almost two years ago. At that stage, we were given to believe that either an investor would be taking it over or Johnson & Johnson would reinvest in it. That has not happened and the facility lies idle. In Clonmel, there is a 300 acre business park. That has been there for many years.”
Biotechnology, pharmaceutical, information technology and professional services companies to mention but a few can grow and develop in a different environment, he said. “The costs outside of the capital are lower. The quality of life available to employees is very different to that in the major cities. The road, rail and broadband infrastructure which was not in place years ago is now available. The road from Dublin to Cork passes through Tipperary and makes it accessible to the airports in Dublin, Cork and Shannon, which are at most an hour and a half away.”
In reply, Minister of State John Perry said IDA Ireland had assured him that it continues to work with all its client companies in Tipperary and across the country to ensure their long-term sustainability and encourage their growth and development, the broadening of their mandates and the continuing re-investment in their sites. There were 12 IDA Ireland client companies in the whole of County Tipperary, employing almost 3,700 people on a permanent basis.
Full story in this week’s Tipperary Star.