Multinationals still favour bigger cities despite IDA grants of €450m for job growth
NOT a single international executive travelled to Roscommon, Leitrim or Longford in the past couple of years to create new jobs, according to IDA Ireland.
New figures show that most multinationals just visit Dublin when they are considering opening up new operations here and are loathe to create jobs outside of the big cities.
The agency said that between 2009 and 2011, 437 multinational visits were recorded in the Dublin area compared to just seven to Kerry and six to Kildare. It said some of these trips included second and third visits from companies giving serious consideration to setting up new ventures in Ireland.
There were three visits from international executives to Cavan, Laois and Tipperary and two to Kilkenny and Mayo. Wexford and Monaghan each received one visit, while not a single multinational travelled to Roscommon, Leitrim or Longford.
The agency gave multinational companies €450m in grants to create new jobs in the four years up to 2010, according to the new figures released in a parliamentary question to Sinn Fein's Peadar Toibin.
Most of this money went to firms that opened new businesses in Dublin, Cork, Kildare, Galway, Tipperary and Limerick. But for three or more of those years no grants went to Cavan, Kilkenny, Leitrim and Monaghan.
Yesterday, the IDA said its primary responsibility was to attract foreign direct investment and to promote it where possible outside of the large urban centres. It says, however, that investors typically want to locate in cities with a population of more than one million.
"IDA will always strive to attract investment into areas with smaller population bases; however, it is imperative that locations meet the requirements of each individual client company as the ultimate decision on where an operation will be established resides with the client company," it said.
It has also revealed the number of jobs created and lost in each county from 2007 to 2011. Just before the property crash in 2007 there were 1,070 companies in Ireland supported by the IDA. Since then, 66 have closed with the loss of 10,000 permanent jobs.
Some counties have been hit far worse than others.
Tipperary North, for example, saw about half of the number of permanent employees in multinationals lose their jobs during the past five years.
In Offaly, there was a 37pc drop in the numbers employed in these companies, leaving just 100 full-time positions. Multinationals with operations in Louth, Limerick and Wicklow axed 30pc of their full-time workforce over that period.
Galway, Clare, Cork and Mayo fared much better, with the number of people employed in IDA-backed firms increasing.