Kerry will 'attract more jobs'
JOBS Minister Richard Bruton says he is confident that the redrawing of a new regional aid map, to include Kerry, will undoubtedly encourage more investment and jobs to the county.
Minister Bruton was in Dairymaster headquarters in Causeway last week to launch the new aid map, which many here hope will bring a much needed boost to the local economy.
Touring the company on Friday morning, Minister Bruton described the north Kerry business as a jewel in the crown of rural Ireland and one which shows what can be done in terms of investment in the region.
He explained that the new regional aid arrangements will now allow Kerry companies to receive more State support for setting up or expanding businesses. Kerry is one of four areas included in the new map and now stands alone from the south west when it comes to receiving State aid.
Minister Bruton said that Kerry had traditionally been tied in with the rest of the region, but the redrawing of the map would transform the county's ability to attract regional investment. He added that he had already instructed the IDA and Enterprise Ireland to use the new aid structures to generate more investment and employment in Kerry.
While most business and industry experts are welcoming the news, the announcement has been met with some cynicism by those who have been campaigning for the ill-fated Shannon LNG liquified gas plant in north Kerry for over eight years.
Shannon LNG is poised to invest €1bn in the project on the north Kerry land bank, creating hundreds of jobs for the area, but eight years on is still tied up in legal red tape. Just a few weeks ago the company announced it was closing its Listowel office, casting doubt over the future of the project.
"How ironic and paradoxical that this announcement should happen on the very week that the biggest investment to come into Kerry in the last 25 years is leaving the county after spending eight years of trying to cut through red-tape and bureaucracy," asked John Fox of the Tarbert Development Association.