Leahy: Offaly has been abandoned by IDA

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Justin Kelly

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Justin Kelly

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justin.kelly@iconicnews.ie

John Leahy

Renua leader and Offaly County Councillor John Leahy

Offaly councillor and RENUA Ireland leader John Leahy has slammed the "on-going second-class citizen status ascribed to the hard working people of Laois and Offaly by the Dublin centred mandarins of the IDA."

Mr Leahy was responding to figures showing that once again "when it comes to site visits the IDA has consigned Laois-Offaly to Coventry, or rather to hell and to Connacht."

Figures secured by Mr Leahy reveal that in the first quarter of 2017 the IDA made no site visits to Laois and just one to Offaly.

Mr Leahy said: "This is an appalling failure of joined up governance. We have the debacle where the Midlands are as stranded from the board-rooms of the IDA as Robinson Crusoe."

The Minister should invest in some maps and send them over to the IDA so they become aware of the existence of Laois and Offaly, Leahy claimed.

"They certainly appear to need them. This is part of an ongoing pattern of neglect for decades," he insisted.

"One would think there was neither road nor rail contact into Laois-Offaly."

He urged the IDA to also note that Laois-Offaly has an excellent supply of school and university graduates as "it appears to have escaped their attention to date."

"It is time they were given an opportunity. That will not occur though whilst the IDA continues to suffer under its Dublin First style of leadership," Leahy fumed.

Mr Leahy concluded by noting: "Midlands people are sick of being patronised and dismissed by an organisation which has, when it comes to jobs and opportunity, constructed nothing more than the economic equivalent of ghost estates in Laois-Offaly."
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