Regional job creation drive must concentrate its focus on Longford – McFadden

Fine Gael TD for Longford Westmeath, Gabrielle McFadden, has said that County Westmeath has been the beneficiary of recent job announcements, and energies must now be redoubled in attracting more investment to County Longford.

“The month of October was an extremely good one for Athlone and Westmeath. One hundred new jobs were announced by medical devices company Teleflex while Ericsson announced the signing of an €80m contract with Eircom. This is obviously good news generally for the Midlands but I want to make sure the Government’s regional job creation and investment programme brings sufficient benefits to Longford as well.

“The IDA has made very few sponsored visits to Longford in the last ten years and two weeks ago, I wrote to Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA Ireland, expressing my concern as to why the county is not stronger on the IDA’s radar when it comes to potential job creation initiatives.

“In the last week, Mr Shanahan was in the United States on a 5-day trade mission with Jobs Minister Richard Bruton but I will be following up my correspondence on the CEO’s return.
“This recent jobs growth in Athlone clearly shows that the midlands region has the talent and skills base that companies are looking for, be it in the pharmaceutical, life sciences, technology or services sector.

“Of course, counties like Longford and Westmeath are also ideally placed for companies and future investment given they are ideally placed geographically.

“However, apart from foreign direct investment, I have consistently said that developing tourism products in rural areas and proper supports for small business can provide the key to ensuring the economic recovery is felt in places like Longford. I will certainly be playing my part in assisting every effort to boost investment in the county.”