LARGE areas of the country are being ignored by foreign investors considering locating industry here, new figures show.
Twelve counties have rec- eived no visits from potential foreign investors in the first six months of this year, according to figures from Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Minister Richard Bruton.
They include Carlow, Donegal, Kerry, Kildare, Laois, Leitrim, Longford, Meath, Monaghan, Roscommon, Tipperary and Wexford.
Dublin continues to receive the lion's share of visits. In a written Dail response to a question from Fianna Fail's Michael McGrath, Mr Bruton confirmed that 52pc or 85 of the 162 foreign investor visits in the five months to the end of May this year were to the capital.
The next highest amount were the 17 site visits to Cork, with 12 going to Limerick and Waterford, while 10 visits were recorded in Galway. The figures show that the site visits to Dublin and the four cities of Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford account for 84pc of the IDA-sponsored visits this year.
This leaves 16pc for the remainder of the country. There were six visits each to Clare and Louth.
"The figures show that there is definitely a bias in favour of Dublin," said Mr McGrath.
The Cork TD said that in counties where no site visit had taken place, "there is virtually no prospect of these counties attracting foreign direct investment into the future".
The figures show Wexford, Roscommon and Longford have not received a single visit in two years.
Mr McGrath said that the IDA needed to make a greater effort in sponsoring site visits across the regions.
In his Dail response, Mr Bruton said: "Leading global corporations require a significant population pool, access to qualified talent, world standard physical and digital infrastructure coupled with the availability of sophisticated professional and business support services.
"In selecting locations to market to client companies, IDA Ireland endeavours to include locations which have been affected by closures/job losses.
"While IDA Ireland seeks to influence the selection of a location, the final decision on where to locate is taken in all cases by the client company."