Fianna Fáil local election candidate in Ashbourne Sean Smith has called for a report into the lack of IDA investment in Meath over the past year.
Mr Smith said that while Dublin and other urban bases are benefiting, the Ashbourne region and Meath continues to be ignored.
“I am calling for a greater focus by the IDA in the commuter belt areas of Meath and throughout Meath. I am astonished that there has only been four visits by the IDA with Foreign Direct Investment companies since the beginning of 2010. This compares to the following amounts in the commuter belt area; 776 visits to Dublin, 70 visits to Louth, 17 visits to Wicklow and 7 visits to Kildare.
“Meath fares fourth worst in the country when it comes to IDA focus for Foreign Direct Investment with just Longford, Leitrim and Monaghan seeing less visits.
“The south Meath area provides excellent opportunities for investment with it's proximity to Dublin Airport and the M1 and being just ten minutes drive from the M50. The Ashbourne area has a young population with 77% being below 44 years, cso 2011. There is also space close to the town centre for industrial development,” explained Mr Smith.
“By ignoring this part of the commuter belt we are losing wonderful opportunities for Foreign Direct Investment.
“Fianna Fáil has continually called for a report into the lack of IDA focus on the Meath region. As the IDA plans its strategy for 2014, it is crucial that the Government now takes the need for regional fairness seriously.
“It’s proven that when the IDA focuses on investment in a certain area, that area benefits from job creation. The infrastructure network is excellent and with a highly educated potential workforce from Meath, the county has all the ingredients for Foreign Direct Investment. I cannot see any reason why the Government and IDA would not prioritise Meath for FDI.
“The Meath commuter belt towns have been let down by local TDs and I am calling for a full report on why the IDA is ignoring Meath for site visits,” said Mr Smith.