Wednesday, 6 October 2004
Dáil Eireann Debate
206. Mr. Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if he will come to South Kerry to witness first hand the job losses the people of Killarney and surrounding areas have suffered within the past few weeks with the loss of 87 jobs in the Killarney area alone; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23740/04]
Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Mr. Martin): I am very disappointed at the recent job losses in Killarney, including those at Transmould and Scott Tools and I am conscious of the adverse effects on the workers concerned and on their families.
Finding alternative employment for the workers affected is a priority for FÁS and the State development agencies. FÁS has contacted both companies and will make available its full range of support services including skills analysis, jobs placement, guidance and counselling interviews and identification of training needs and courses.
IDA Ireland continues to actively promote the south Kerry region to potential investors from a variety of sectors, including manufacturing and international services, through its network of overseas offices and project divisions, with every effort being made to secure new investments for the area. In addition to targeting potential new projects, IDA Ireland continues to work with the existing base of companies in the region with a view to supporting such companies with potential expansions and diversification of activities.
The agency has also completed site development works on its business and technology park in Killarney and is actively promoting this new investment, including a new building facility in the park. These investments will put the area in a position to compete more strongly for inward investment in the ICT, software and international services sectors.
The major decentralisation programme announced in the budget includes 165 jobs to be relocated to Killarney. This move demonstrates the Government’s commitment to balanced regional development and will provide a further boost to enterprise development in Kerry. The designation of Killarney as a hub town under the Government’s nationalspatial strategy adds to the attractiveness of the county for overseas and indigenous investment.
The State development agencies, under the auspices of my Department, will continue to work closely together and with local interests in promoting the Killarney area for additional investment and job creation. I would be happy to discuss the jobs situation in Killarney during my next visit to the area.
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