Councillor unhappy with IDA response to invite

A letter which could have been “dicta-phoned at six in the morning by looking up the website” and containing “nothing other people don’t know,” was not a good enough response by the IDA to a meeting request from the County Council and officials are to be again asked to come before the council.

A letter which could have been “dicta-phoned at six in the morning by looking up the website” and containing “nothing other people don’t know,” was not a good enough response by the IDA to a meeting request from the County Council and officials are to be again asked to come before the council.

The angry outburst from Carrick on Suir Cllr Bobby Fitzgerald came at Monday’s meeting of South Tipperary County Council when he asked about a previous proposal he had made, inviting the IDA before the council.

Congratulating the IDA on a successful year, he said he was disappointed with the response to his invitation. “We invited them to attend a meeting. OK there was a meeting with management but we are the elected representatives. This situation is too serious to be pawned off with a letter.”

Referring to the letter and press release sent by the IDA, Cllr Fitzgerald said most of the jobs referred to were created in the 1970s. He said the IDA was doing well in job creation “overall” but asked how many jobs were created in the South East. “Of €376,000 invested in the South East only 50 jobs were created,” he answered his own question.

“I ask that a representative attend here for an hour or two so we can ask more questions.”

County Manager Billy McEvoy said a meeting between council management and the IDA took place on December 7 last. They also met with Enterprise Ireland and intend to continue with those meetings. Next week council management will meet with the IDA’s Southern Regional Manager and Life Sciences Manager. There is a focus on the South East at the moment, Mr McEvoy said, particularly with regard to life sciences, and he hopes there will be spin-offs for South Tipperary.

Investment referred to in the IDA press release at Boston Scientific and Merck, Sharp and Dohme was recent investment, he added. Approximately 80% of IDA capital investment is in research and development, and this helped fund the new extension at Merck, Sharp and Dohme opened last year.

Mr McEvoy said they could certainly write back to the IDA.