Half of IDA visits last year were to Dublin

Rural Ireland has been left behind with new figures showing almost half of IDA visits for new business were in the capital last year.

County-by-county breakdowns for 2017 show 327 IDA visits out of 682 were in Dublin. Only 51 were in Cork, 62 in Galway, and 42 in Limerick. There was only one IDA visit in the whole year in Monaghan and just two in Cavan, Donegal, and Wicklow.

The figures were provided in a Dáil reply to Fianna Fáil TD Niall Collins, who said: “Fine Gael’s claim that it is actively supporting well-paying jobs outside Dublin is nothing more than hot air and bluster. The reality is that its efforts are focused predominately on Dublin, to the detriment to the rest of the country.”

The Irish Examiner today drills down into concerns faced by rural Ireland, including roads, schools, broadband, crime and hospitals.

The Government will tomorrow launch two reports on planning for the coming decades.

The 10-year National Development Plan will outline €115bn in spending for major projects, including the M20 Limerick to Cork road, airport expansions, and investments in education and health. The National Planning Framework will outline rural and urban plans up to 2040.

Writing in the newspaper, Rural Affairs Minister Michael Ring insists the initiatives will make rural Ireland a “more attractive place to live and work”, and that the “tide is turning” on rural job creation.

“The document has been fundamentally redrafted since the initial draft appeared last year,” he says.

But there have also been warnings from opposition TDs that the Government is rushing out the National Planning Framework and risks a legal challenge as its statutory footing will be on shaky ground.

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