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IDA figures show regional development is still far from balanced – Doherty

7 February, 2008

Sinn Féin Regional Development Spokesperson Senator Pearse Doherty has said the numbers of IDA supported jobs created throughout the state last year shows that regional development is still far from balanced. Senator Doherty said the figures show that the North Western region of the state is continues to fall behind in job creation despite having the highest levels of unemployment.

The Donegal Senator said, "The figures of IDA supported jobs throughout the state make for dismal reading for those living in along the border, the midlands and in the North Western region. These figures show that regional development is still far from balanced.

"It seems the larger urban areas continue to be prioritised higher than rural areas. Despite the North Western region having the highest unemployment levels in the State it continues to fall behind in terms of job creation.

"The Government must start taking real initiatives to attract businesses to rural areas such as Donegal and the border counties.

"Telecommunications and transport infrastructure are top priorities. I know that a lack of broadband access in my own county has made some companies think twice before deciding to settle there. And there can be no doubt that lack of rail in Donegal has seriously hampered progress.

"However, the most important thing is that the Government needs to prioritise those areas that are most in need. It is no surprise to see that constituencies where some Government Ministers are located have, in the most part, done quite well with IDA jobs. These constituencies just happen to ignore the trend between rural and urban areas. This cannot be allowed to continue and I would call on the Taoiseach to put an end to this practice." ENDS

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