Representatives of Invest Tipperary have said that they have renewed confidence with regard to the level of attention Tipperary is getting from government and relevant agencies following a key meeting with the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor last week.
The meeting at the Minister’s office on Kildare Street was attended by representatives of Invest Tipperary, the voluntary organisation established earlier this year to assist in the promotion of Tipperary. Cathaoirleach of Tipperary County Council, Councillor Siobhán Ambrose, Chief Executive Joe MacGrath and a representative from the IDA were also in attendance.
The meeting, which was arranged by Labour’s opposition spokesperson for Jobs Deputy Alan Kelly, recognised the very significant wins for Tipperary with announcements of 300 jobs separately for Casthel (Amneal) and Nenagh (First Data) but was predominantly focused on repeating those wins elsewhere in the county.
Speaking after the meeting, Invest Tipperary board member and former Irish ambassador to China Joe Hayes said he was very encouraged by the determination from all at the table to attract further foreign direct investment wins for Tipperary.
“We were very pleased in the first instance to get the meeting for Invest Tipperary but were even more pleased with the time the Minister gave us and, indeed, the fact that she had arranged an IDA representative to be present.
“We got an opportunity to ask some hard questions and got a lot of the answers we were hoping for. While we cannot go into any detail as it was a private meeting with the Minister and her officials, suffice to say that with the larger urban areas having benefited massively from foreign direct investment over the past five years or so, there has been a redoubling of efforts to win investment into the regions.
“Specifically from our perspective with Tipperary, we are satisfied that our county is getting due recognition in these wider efforts. Much of this is down to the efforts of our own local authority and both the Minister and the IDA were left in no doubt by the commitment of the CEO Joe MacGrath, backed up by the Cathaoirleach Siobhan Ambrose, at the meeting that Tipperary is very much open for business.
The CEO and the Cathaoirleach could not have been more forthcoming with regard to emphasising that potential IDA clients looking to invest in Europe will find Tipperary a very business friendly and suitable environment for their investment.”
The Cashel native said that a very strong case was made to the Minister, her officials and the IDA.
“Together with the CEO and Cathaoirleach, we sold the Tipperary case very strongly to those at the meeting and why not? Geographically we are excellently located, within easy reach of Shannon Airport, as well as Cork and Dublin and the country’s ports. We have quality locations across the county that are ‘site ready’ for investment, as per our own report earlier this year.
We also tick the box for one major FDI requirement, which is third level graduates. There are over 100,000 third level students within a 90 minute drive of Tipperary. We have a compelling case and it’s one we intend to continue to make and, from last week’s meeting, we are confident that this key audience of the Minister and her IDA representatives are listening.”
He concluded: “We are not in any way underestimating the task at hand but we are reassured by the level of attention Tipperary is getting and we will continue to keep chasing so that any opportunities for our county are seized on.”