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Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 16 Jul 1975

Vol. 283 No. 10

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - New Industries.


asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce the total number of applications received in the past 12 months by the IDA from foreign industrialists for the establishment of new industries in this country; the number of firm commitments; and the expected number of new jobs which will be available.


asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce the total number of applications received in the past 12 months by the north-west regional office of the IDA; the number of firm commitments; and the expected number of new jobs which will be available.

With the permission of the Ceann Comhairle I propose to take Questions Nos. 18 and 19 together.

As I have indicated previously in a reply to a similar question many approaches by firms to the Industrial Development Authority are tentative and do not advance to the stage where formal application for a grant is made. Accordingly it is not possible to answer the Deputy's question precisely.

I propose to define an application for grant assistance as a proposal in which a detailed submission has been made to the board of IDA or an IDA grant sub-committee. Most of such applications are approved for grantaid and are regarded as firm commitments.

I have been informed by the authority that the latest period for which they have figures available is the year ended March, 1975. In that period 56 new foreign projects involving 10,820 jobs were approved by the IDA.

As regards the north-west region a total of ten industrial projects were approved in the same period involving a job potential of 204.

The Deputy will appreciate, of course, that figures for one year in isolation do not reflect accurately the industrial progress in any particular region.

Can the Parliamentary Secretary say where new jobs have been created in the north-west region of the 204 new jobs he mentioned?

I have not got information as to the precise location of each of the ten projects but, if the Deputy will put down a question——

The question is down about the north-west region.

The Deputy did not ask for the location of the new projects. He asked for the number.

Two counties are involved.

I have given him the information he sought. If he wants other information he should put down another question.

Would the Parliamentary Secretary agree that since this Government took office no new jobs have been created in Sligo or Leitrim?

Absolutely not.

Would he tell us where new jobs have been created since this Government took office?

In Ministers' offices. Jobs for the boys.

Where in Sligo and Leitrim?


Deputy MacSharry must address his remarks through the Chair and not directly to the Parliamentary Secretary.

I can tell the Deputy that in terms of firm grant commitments in respect of the targets set by the IDA in their plan for the period 1973 to 1977, job approvals come to 95.8 per cent to the end of December, 1974, of the target for the period set up to 1977. The Deputy can see that substantial progress in terms of firm commitments is being made.

Question No. 20.

I have three questions down and I am entitled to three supplementaries. Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that the job targets he talks of were announced and work had begun prior to February, 1973? Since then absolutely no announcement has been made of new jobs in the north-west region, in Sligo and Leitrim.

We are having repetition.

Approved or created?

Approved or created or potential.

Would the Parliamentary Secretary agree that the data he has given of 56 projects and 11,000 job creations——


May I remind the Opposition as a shower of destructive knockers——

The Government knocked 102,000 people out of jobs.

The phrase used by the Parliamentary Secretary is the precise phrase used by his predecessor and it is used frequently by Members of the Opposition.

We filled the jobs.

The data he has given reflect the highest credit on the efforts of the IDA, and the destructive knocking by the Fianna Fáil Party does not help the IDA or the country.

The Deputy will get a job yet.

Can we take it from the Parliamentary Secretary's reply that in relation to the 204 potential new jobs in Sligo-Leitrim the location of which he cannot give other than say they are on paper, the same thing will apply to the 56,000 new firm commitments and the 10,000 new jobs throughout the country? Does the Parliamentary Secretary know where they will be?

I will be happy to give the Deputy the precise details, the names and location of all the projects, if the Deputy puts down a question seeking that information. The Deputy put down a question seeking the total number of the projects and the number of jobs involved. I gave him that information, and if the Deputy is not able to frame his Questions properly that is his problem and not mine.

Fianna Fáil tried to destroy industrial development here for many years.

I ask the Parliamentary Secretary to accept the sympathy of this side of the House for his valiant if ineffective efforts to answer the persistent questions from Opposition Deputies on such an important topic. I extend our sympathy at his complete isolation by any of his Parliamentary Secretary colleagues or members of the Government.

Poor fellow.

I can assure the Deputy that I need no sympathy from the Opposition and, judging by the standard of opposition they have been providing in this House for the past two years, their sympathy, as well as everything else, is absolutely worthless.

The remaining Questions will appear on tomorrow's Order Paper.