Blackspot loses out as MEP bags 200 jobs for hometown
LABOUR MEP Alan Kelly has claimed credit for securing up to 200 hi-tech jobs for his hometown of Nenagh, Co Tipperary -- at the expense of the employment blackspot of Limerick.
But he actually represents both places as an MEP for the Ireland South constituency in the European Parliament.
Mr Kelly told his local newspaper that job creation agencies had been encouraging HKPB Scientific to establish a base in Limerick. He said he had made the company aware of a vacant premises in Nenagh and helped to secure a private investor.
"It is great that they came to Nenagh because other agencies wanted them to go to Limerick," he told the 'Nenagh Guardian'.
Mr Kelly is expected to be Labour's candidate in Tipperary North in the next general election.
Mr Kelly's website features a contribution from HKPB Scientific chief financial officer David O'Flynn.
"Without Alan Kelly these jobs would be going elsewhere. We were very close to moving to another area before Alan offered the alternative of Nenagh by putting forward a very convincing argument for the potential in north Tipperary," he said.
However, Mr Kelly denied that he had managed to get jobs which were destined for Limerick transferred to Nenagh.
"The real issue is that the individual who set up the business (Dr Donnacha Haverty) is from Nenagh," he said.
Mr Kelly said the company had made the decision themselves to locate in Nenagh.
"It was based around the fact that the building they saw in Nenagh was the best suited fit for them," he said.
Labour Limerick East TD Jan O'Sullivan revealed she had made contact with Mr Kelly in relation to the issue.
"I spoke to Alan about it. What I've been told, and not just by Alan but by others as well, is that the Nenagh unit was what they needed in terms of size, and probably Limerick wouldn't have got it. We didn't fall out over it," she said.