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Noonan admits 'regret' over failed jobs pledge

FINANCE Minister Michael Noonan has admitted it was "regrettable" that he could not deliver 400 jobs he had promised for his native Limerick city.

It was seized upon by his long-standing political rival, Fianna Fail's Willie O'Dea, who accused him of getting people's hopes up unnecessarily.

There was great excitement when Mr Noonan told a meeting of Limerick Chamber of Commerce last year that 400 new jobs for the city were at the "final stages of negotiation".

It soon emerged that the jobs in question were going to be in the new Irish Water call centre on the site of Dell's former factory in Limerick.

But Mr Noonan has now admitted that the jobs are not coming.

"I was working on the basis of information I had at the time and circumstances changed," he said.

Fexco was going to use the former Dell site, but it did not pass the first stage of the tendering process.

Irish Water is still in the process of awarding the call centre contact – so the location of the jobs is not known yet.

Irish Independent