Limerick Minister aims for meeting with IDA

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

NEWLY appointed Minister of State Jan O’Sullivan has vowed to seek a meeting with the IDA after it emerged the agency was unsure on new projects coming to the city.

NEWLY appointed Minister of State Jan O’Sullivan has vowed to seek a meeting with the IDA after it emerged the agency was unsure on new projects coming to the city.

NEWLY appointed Minister of State Jan O’Sullivan has vowed to seek a meeting with the IDA after it emerged the agency was unsure on new projects coming to the city.

Despite the fact IDA chief executive Barry O’Leary predicted three major jobs projects would be coming to Limerick in the early part of 2011, around Christmas time, these positions have failed to materialise.

And the job-creation agency’s Mid-West regional development director Sean Denvir has admitted it is unclear when new investment would be coming to Limerick, which has more than 14,000 people on the live register in the city alone.

Now, Minister O’Sullivan, who will be responsible for overseas aid and trade in the new government, has said her new role will see her working with the IDA.

“It would cause me concern the IDA now seems to be casting doubt on what sounded like a very firm commitment to the Oireachtas committee. One of the meetings I do hope to have shortly is with the IDA. The other Departments also have a role in this as well, but as I understand it, my role in trade will also involve working with the IDA, so I certainly intend to raise this issue,” she told the Limerick Leader.

Minister O’Sullivan also confirmed that her new role would see her taking over the Irish Aid portfolio. Her predecessor in the role, Fianna Fail’s Peter Power - who lost his seat at the general election - decentralised the agency to Henry Street in the city. Deputy O’Sullivan confirmed the centre would remain here.

With new Finance Minister Michael Noonan playing down any notion Limerick would be singled out for special projects, Deputy O’Sullivan said the fact Limerick now “has voices where voices count” will still work in the city’s favour.

“I think Limerick has been under provided for in that it has not gotten its share of investment, across a number of areas and a number of jobs. But I can understand why Michael Noonan would give this impression. As a cabinet minister , it is not his role to single out his own constituency because then constituencies without ministers would feel unfairly treated. But I think the fact Limerick has a senior and a junior minister has to ensure we are at least not left behind, and we have voices where voices count,” she said.