asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if the IDA are aware of the necessity for an industry for Longford to replace the recently closed factory of a company (name supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Longford Industry.
Industrial employment in Longford has increased substantially in recent years.
The IDA have already approved this year four projects which between them are expected to provide an additional 117 jobs in the town.
I understand also that a textile firm in the town will shortly, with the help of an IDA grant, implement an expansion programme resulting in the creation of 60 new jobs.
In addition, negotiations are in progress with an industrialist who may locate a substantial new industry in the town. Because these negotiations are at a critical stage, I cannot give further details at present.
The authority own a 17 acre site just outside Longford town and they have assured me that they will continue to promote industrial development vigorously in the Longford area.
Is the Minister aware that despite all this progress there is a long delay in restarting industry in Longford? It has only been restarted at this stage after a long halt. The closure of one or two small factories would mean a substantial loss of employment in this area. Is the Minister aware that the second phase, which he states is going to be embarked upon by a textile firm, has been mooted over a period of three years?
I do not accept the inference in Deputy Carter's question. An IDA survey has shown that in the relevant catchment area the total employment in 1974 was 900; in 1975, 986; and in 1976, 1,046. The rise from the first to the second year was 86; the rise between last year and this year was 60. Therefore, there has been a continuing rise in industrial jobs. The new plants and the extensions to existing plants that I mentioned were in addition to that underlying trend.