Portlaoise should be prioritised for IDA investment

A Laois TD has called on the IDA to include Portlaoise has one of the priority towns for investment along with the Midlands towns of Athlone, Tullamore and Mullingar.

A Laois TD has called on the IDA to include Portlaoise has one of the priority towns for investment along with the Midlands towns of Athlone, Tullamore and Mullingar.

Fianna Fail TD, Sean Fleming said that until Minister Richard Bruton tell the IDA to prioritise Portlaoise, there is no prospect of any IDA investment coming to County Laois.

The IDA have recently produced figures showing that 11,766 jobs were created in IDA client firms in 2012. But just two of these jobs were local in Laois.

Deputy Fleming said that there is a policy reason evident now with Minister Richard Bruton and the IDA which ensures that areas like Laois will continue to be neglected in terms of job creation.

Earlier this year, th

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton informed Deputy Fleming in the Dáil “that the locations of emphasis in the region are the gateway towns of Athlone, Tullamore and Mullingar.”

“Clearly this means that Portlaoise is not on the IDA’s radar in terms of promoting foreign investment in the region. The policy by the Minister must change and Portlaoise and Laois must be given a fair opportunity in this regard,” the Fianna Fail TD said.

He continued: “In addition the IDA have made it clear that they are not really in the business of promoting individual counties but the country as a whole.

“I am calling on the Minister to instruct the IDA to include Portlaoise as one of the priority towns for investment in the midlands along with Athlone, Tullamore and Mullingar.

Until the Minister tells the IDA that Portlaoise should be prioritised along with other towns in the region there is no prospect of any IDA investment coming to County Laois.”

Deputy Fleming stressed all he is requesting is for County Laois to get a fair share of IDA investment, no more and no less.