Jobs hope for Laois as IDA boss meet the County Council and other groups in January

Ryan Dunne

Reporter:

Ryan Dunne

Email:

ryan@leinsterexpress.ie

IDA Business Park Portlaoise, Co Laois

IDA Business Park Portlaoise.

The possibly of jobs created from foreign direct investment coming to Laois has increased with confirmation that the boss of the state agency responsibly for bring such jobs to Ireland is to visit in early 2018.

Laois County Council expects to meet with Industrial Development Authority chief executive Martin Shanahan in January next, to discuss investment possibilities in a county that is an IDA blackspot.

The news was confirmed at today’s (Wednesday, November 15) meeting of the Portlaoise Municipal District in County Hall, in response to a motion proposed by Cllr Jerry Lodge.

The IDA boss had told Sean Fleming in recent weeks that he intended to visit and would be accompanied by Enterprise Ireland. He had originally been told the meeting would take place in December it is now more likely to occur in early 2018.

The IDA has offices all over the world and Mr Shanahan travels the globe competing for what is known as foreign direct investment. Companies brought to Ireland by the IDA include, facebook, Google, Microsoft and Intel.

Cllr Lodge requested an urgent meeting with the IDA regarding the lack of industrial development. 

Kieran Kehoe, director of services, informed him that Laois County Council has been informed that the IDA chief executive will be attending a meeting in Laois over the next couple of months.

He said the council was hoping to arrange the meeting in January next.

Cllr Lodge said he was delighted by the news, as there had been no visit from the agency for the first three quarters of the year.

“I want to know what are the difficulties in bringing business to Laois,” he said.

Seconding the motion, Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald said the present figures were atrocious.

“I hope we have very positive news for Laois, we’ve been totally ignored,” she said.

Said Cllr Mary Sweeney: “It’s extremely difficult not to be critical of their performance and extremely difficult to stay positive about their commitment, they are making contacts all over the world. I’ll reserve judgement until January.”