TRALEE Sinn Fein Councillor Pat Daly has accused the IDA of actively discouraging investors from setting up business in the town.
Speaking during a Tralee Town Council discussion on job creation proposals Cllr Daly said he was aware of one potential investor, with strong connections to Kerry, who was "actively" encouraged by the IDA to invest elsewhere despite the fact that the US-based businessman had expressed a desire to open a subsidiary of his company in Kerry.
Cllr Daly said the US investor had contacted the IDA seeking information about expanding his business to Tralee but was "discouraged" and instead "ferried off elsewhere."
"The IDA are actively pushing against Tralee and Kerry and they are not neutral," said Cllr Daly who called on senior management at the IDA to come before Tralee Town Council and explain the agency's policy towards promoting Kerry.
Quizzed as to where he had received his information Cllr Daly said it came from "a very good source."
Cllr Mairead Fernane (FG) said that if Cllr Daly's allegations proved to be accurate the IDA would have to provide an explanation.
"If this is true then it would realise our worst fears. It appears people who want to come here are being pushed away. If we know that a company has been steered elsewhere then we need answers," said Cllr Fernane.
Earlier in the meeting Labour Councillor Terry O'Brien had also criticised the IDA whose outgoing Chief Executive is due to be replaced in the coming months. "I hope the new person knows where Kerry is because the last one certainly didn't," said Cllr O'Brien.
The IDA says does all it can to attract investment into Kerry but that the decision is ultimately down to the individual businesses and Kerry's infrastructure does not suit the needs of many potential investors.
The IDA has strongly denied any anti-Kerry bias and said that the agency is actively marketing Kerry, especially Tralee and Killarney, and trying to get visiting companies and investors to include them on their itinerary.