Despite the IDA's dismal record in Laois the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation has claimed the Midlands is a 'fantastic' location to invest in.
Minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor was speaking at the announcement that Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has entered into a lease agreement with IDA Ireland to establish a new manufacturing plant in the recently constructed 2,650m2 IDA Advanced Technology Building in Athlone, Ireland.
The project is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation through IDA Ireland. The company will initially create up to 50 new jobs.
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD said: “The Midlands is a fantastic place to invest, and Aerie’s choice to locate its manufacturing facility in IDA Ireland’s new building there is particularly welcome. As we pass the 200,000 mark for people employed in overseas companies in Ireland, we need to continue to ensure a good spread of jobs throughout the regions. I wish Aerie all the best with their investment in Athlone,” she said.
Martin Shanahan, CEO at IDA Ireland, said: “The decision to proactively build properties to attract foreign investors into regional locations has been further vindicated with Aerie’s selection of the IDA-built facility in Athlone. The pharmaceutical sector continues to be a key target sector for IDA Ireland as we seek to win more business for Ireland in 2017”.
Figures published in the Dáil last year show that just 19 jobs were created here in 2014/15. Leitrim was second lowest with 20 new jobs but is home to 423 posts in foreign-based firms. There are just 97 IDA-backed jobs in Laois between two companies. There are arlready more than 2,500 jobs in Westmeath where the new jobs will be located.