independent

Monday 24 July 2017

Fingal is 'ideal home' for major European agency

John Manning

Fingal could provide the ideal home for the European Medicines Agency (EMA) which has announced it is leaving London in the wake of the Brexit decision and taking its 800 to 900 jobs with it.

That is the view of former Health Minister, Senator James Reilly who said he 'will be working with the Government to make a pitch for the EMA to relocate to near Dublin Airport, potentially bringing between 800 and 900 highly paid jobs to the area'.

The EMA is the European Union agency responsible for the protection of public and animal health through the scientific evaluation and supervision of medicines.

Speaking in the Seanad, Senator Reilly outlined the case for location of this key European agency to the new International Business Campus at the new 'Dublin Airport Central' office development.

Senator Reilly said: 'With all its facilities and connectivity in Ireland, Europe, USA and Worldwide, this is an ideal business hub for an international agency with the added advantage of being located in fair Fingal.'

He added: 'In the wake of Brexit the EMA will relocate from the UK to an EU member state. Many other countries are pitching for the agency, which has a budget of €287 million for 2017. I believe that a relocation to Ireland and Fingal in particular makes perfect sense.

'Fingal County Council has already granted planning permission for four office blocks capable of holding 4,000 new employees with 450,000 square feet of new state-of-the-art modern office space. This would give the EMA that ability to quickly get a bespoke, state-of-the-art facility, constructed as a matter of urgency. This is an ideal location for the EMA.'

Senator Reilly said: 'Currently located in London, the EMA is responsible for the scientific evaluation, supervision and safety monitoring of medicines developed by pharmaceutical companies for use in the EU. The European Medicines Agency would present great synergy opportunities for the local excellent Dublin City University in research and developing new products and medical devices. I very much welcome the efforts of the Department of Health and Minister Simon Harris to land this key project into Ireland from London. As the Fine Gael Spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in the Seanad, I am aware that no stone will be left unturned in our efforts to bring the EMA to Ireland.'

He added: 'I met the CEO of Dublin Airport, Kevin Toland, recently. He outlined to me the ambitious expansion plans at Dublin Airport which is a key economic hub for Ireland and especially Fingal with 16,000 people employed there and supporting 100,000 other jobs. Dublin Airport Central with the USA immigration pre clearance facility and 120 flights per week to USA and many more to London and Europe is an ideal hub for the European Medicines Agency and many more Brexit companies who will be seeking new business locations.'

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