Monday 23 October 2017

Taoiseach spending day in Dundalk

protests planned for visit

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
An Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Anne Campbell

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny will spend a day in Dundalk tomorrow seeing successful local and international businesses in the town and how DkIT has helped to shape the county's profile as a desirable place to do business.

But it won't be all smooth sailing for the Fine Gael leader after the Dundalk Campaign Against Property Taxes and Austerity announced on Monday it has planned protests to co-incide with the visit.

Mr Kenny arrives in Dundalk at 11.30am where he will perform the official opening of PayPal at the Xerox Business Park. The American multi-national, which is owned by eBay, announced in 2012 it would create 1,000 jobs in the town, with an additional 450 jobs announced for eBay's base in Dundalk in February.

Shortly before 1pm, the Taoiseach will be guest at a Dundalk Chamber of Commerce lunch at the Ballymascanlon Hotel. It is here that the Dundalk anti-austerity groups have planned to protest and hope, as they said in a statement on Monday, that Mr Kenny will 'beat Minister Joan Burton's world record for leaving Dundalk in a hurry', referring to the protest at a jobs fair in the Marshes Shopping Centre in February at which the Social Protection Minister was heckled.

Significantly, Mr Kenny will meet a cross border, cross party delegation of politicians at the hotel at around 2pm to be briefed about the Narrow Water bridge situation, which has now entered a critical phase. The group is expected to urge Mr Kenny to use his influence to ensure that the timeline for the bridge completion is not compromised by further delays in the North's administration.

Around 3pm, Mr Kenny will go to DkIT to see for himself the amazing facilities on offer at one of the country's most advanced institutes of technology. He is expected to visit the newly-built nursing building on the campus and will meet students.

Later, at 4pm, Mr Kenny will visit Horseware, which exports a large percentage of its products abroad. Louth TD Peter Fitzpatrick said the Taoiseach's trip will afford the leader the opportunity 'to see how Dundalk businesses, locally-owned and international, are competing and to get a sense of the issues facing businesses here'.*

The Argus