Business Irish

Tuesday 20 February 2018

IDA blamed as planned jobs may go to the North

John O'Mahony and Ralph Riegel

INVESTORS behind a proposed €4bn pharmaceutical centre have threatened to take the project to Northern Ireland after slating the IDA for stalling.

The Global Pharmaceutical Centre of Excellence (GPCE) had promised to create up to 1,500 jobs at the Kerry Technology Park in Tralee.

But GPCE spokesman Rory Doyle said the response from state agencies in Northern Ireland had been far more enthusiastic than in the Republic.

Negotiations between GPCE and the IDA broke down and tensions heightened considerably following a meeting between the two groups in Dublin last Friday.

GPSE chiefs privately believe relocation to Derry may now represent the best deal for them and that only a scaled-down project may go to Kerry.

Politicians have now demanded clarification on whether the 282 jobs announced last March have already been lost to Derry. Arts Minister and local TD Jimmy Deenihan said: "The IDA has not been over-productive when it comes to this project."

But the IDA has rejected any criticisms of its involvement. A spokesman said the agency was open at all times to engagement with the GPCE promoters.

A senior source also said some of the claims put forward for the proposed project -- including a suggestion that it could create 4,000 jobs within four years -- had been very unhelpful.

Irish Independent

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