Speaking at a sitting of the Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Committee, Sinn Féin Senator David Cullinane urged the new chair designate of the IDA Fran Ryan, to address unemployment in the South East as a matter of urgency.
Senator Cullinane said:
“I welcome the appointment of Mr Ryan and I wish him well in his new role.
“But as a native of Waterford it would be remiss of me not to bring to his attention the appalling high levels of unemployment in the town and in the South East in general.
“This region has been particularly affected by the recession and the economic decline. On all the indicators - unemployment, jobs losses, it is above the national average.
“Perhaps even more importantly, in terms of job creation, inward investment and funding it is also doing abysmally bad.
“I would therefore call on Fran Ryan to study the South East Economic Development Strategy (SEEDS) which was recently published by this very Committee.
“The SEEDS report makes a number of key recommendations to kick start the recovery of the region.
“These include a call for the IDA to immediately establish a regional office in Waterford and to appoint a Director for the South East.
“In and of itself however this is not enough. The South East needs a regional Director who is going to implement the findings of the Report, which outlines a very specific and step by step strategy for development.
“Frank Ryan has a wonderful opportunity now to tackle what can only be described as a policy of uneven and unequal regional development.
“The South East has paid a huge price for this and it is time for change.
“The IDA needs to be proactive. The people of the South East Waterford are entitled to work and a future as much as anyone else and they should not be discriminated against because they live outside of the Greater Dublin Region.”