Ciara McCormack, Tipperary Sinn Féin’s general election candidate (left) with Sinn Fein MEP Liadh Ní Riada on a recent constituency visit promoting the county’s growth potential in the tourism sector
Recent figures released by the Minister for Jobs and Enterprise, Heather Humphreys, in relation to IDA job creation underscores the level of neglect of Tipperary and the deep structural economic problems that the county faces, according to Ciara McCormack, Sinn Fein’s general election candidate for Tipperary.
She says that the figures bring into focus the state’s two-tier economic policy, which has badly served Tipperary.
“As a result, the county has recorded a notably stagnant recovery and this puts its economic trajectories for the future on a worrying decline.
“In the first quarter of this year, Dublin had 69 IDA site visits; in contrast, Tipperary received just one. This figure typifies the sharp disparity between Dublin and the rural Ireland, which is continuously left to languish in a state of permanent underdevelopment.
“The state’s economic policy is to maintain a two-tier economy whereby the government overheats the Dublin economy and hopes that any prosperity will consequently ‘trickle down’ to the rest of the country.
“This model has been the hallmark of both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil governments for decades, and although it consistently fails to bear fruit, this hasn’t been enough to dissuade them from changing course.
“Tipperary is consistently one of the worst performers in IDA statistics, with many other blackspots within.
“From 2009 to last year, North Tipperary has been in the bottom three regions for IDA enterprise and jobs creation, year in, year out.
“South Tipperary is gradually deteriorating more too. Last year it was six places from bottom for the number of IDA client companies set-up.
“To put it in perspective, last year 68 such companies were established in Clare, while only 11 firms were set up in Tipperary as a whole.
“This woeful distribution of jobs highlights the county’s vital need for comprehensive investment. We need more capital investment for our transport infrastructure, a greater access to third level institutions and for the government to start meeting its national broadband targets.
“What’s more, we need to put an end to the state policies that have denuded Tipperary of industry over the years, whether that be privatisation, deindustrialisation or urban relocation.
“We need a new industrial vision and a new voice that Sinn Féin can bring to the table”, says Ciara McCormack.