Dublin accounted for over 40% of all IDA-sponsored visits by potential overseas investors last year.
Figures provided by acting Minister for Business Heather Humphreys show that last year 700 IDA site visits were carried out by potential overseas foreign direct investors.
At 41%, the figures show that the trend of Dublin having by far the largest share continued, equivalent to 284 visits in 2019.
The next highest number of visits was posted by Cork which accounted for 68, or 9.8% of all visits.
Limerick posted the third-highest number of visits, at 57 or 8.1%, while Galway had 46 posts, or 6.6% of all sponsored visits.
The figures show that Leitrim recorded the lowest amount of visits from potential foreign direct investors, at only two for the whole year.
Other counties to post five or fewer visits include Longford, Mayo, and Roscommon, Meath, Monaghan, Kerry, and Laois.
“There has never been more people employed in the multinational sector in Ireland than there are today — 245,096,” said a spokeswoman for the IDA.
“Site visits are not indicative of IDA’s efforts to market a region to overseas investors or indeed of IDA’s activities in a region, which includes working with the existing base of companies to sustain and increase their levels of investment,” the spokeswoman said.
In her written Dáil answer to Fianna Fáil TD Robert Troy, Ms Humphreys said: “IDA Ireland’s performance in 2019 represented a record year of growth under the agency’s strategy for the 2015-2019 period.”
The statement continued: “By the end of last year, total employment in the agency’s client companies stood at over 245,000 people.
“Every region in Ireland has seen foreign direct investment-driven employment gains.
“There are now over 138,000 people employed across 724 firms in IDA client companies located outside of Dublin, which represents 57% of all IDA client- supported jobs.”
She said: “I am determined, together with the IDA, to see this trend continue and we will be doing everything possible in 2020 to encourage more firms to invest further in the regions.”
She added: “When it comes to foreign direct investment, site visits do represent a valuable tool through which investors can be encouraged to invest in regional areas.
“However, as I have said before, site visit activity does not necessarily reflect investment potential, as a significant percentage of all new foreign direct investment, comes from existing IDA client companies.”