Empty Údarás units hold potential for job creation – Doherty
Sinn Féin Senator Pearse Doherty has said the scandal of vacant Údarás na Gaeltachta premises in the Donegal Gaeltacht can be put right if the political will is there.
Senator Doherty has called on Údarás na Gaeltachta to make these units freely available to those with a viable business plan that can get people back to work.
Senator Doherty said:
“43% of all Údarás na Gaeltachta units in the Donegal Gaeltacht are lying empty, that is 60 units in total. The highest number of vacant units is the parish of Gweedore with 22. All six units in Magheraroarty are vacant as well as ten in Kilcar.
“These details show the serious lack of focus that this government has on Donegal and the Gaeltacht in addressing the unemployment crisis. The fact that Údarás na Gaeltachta were not included in the list of job creation agencies who were brought to Farmleigh to discuss the unemployment crisis just illustrates how Donegal and the Gaeltacht are little more than an after-thought to this government.
“The 60 enterprise units that are lying vacant across the Donegal Gaeltacht must be used in a positive way to kick-start employment in our county. While we all know that the government’s lack of focus on job creation and its lack of investment in basic infrastructure has resulted in huge unemployment across Donegal, the fact that these units exist must be used as a positive.
“Many of these buildings which range in scale from 40 to 2,000 square meters are ready and fit for purpose and can meet the needs of future employers in the county.
“Many people out there with viable business plans never see the project through as a result of the barriers that exist. One of these barriers is the high rental costs for premises. It makes absolutely no sense for Údarás na Gaeltachta to have 60 unused factories lying across west Donegal while those with plans to put people back to work cant do so because of the high rental costs of these same factories.
“I am calling on Údarás na Gaeltachta to make these premises freely available to anybody with a viable business plan that will get people back to work. It should be made clear to those wishing to establish businesses that these premises will be made available free of charge for the first year and reviewed thereafter. With a bit of imagination and political will we can get our county moving again.” ENDS