I can inform Deputy Rabbitte that there were 25 courses offered to the former workers with an average duration of 28 weeks. All the courses offered, which were held throughout the county at a cost of £4.2 million, were City and Guilds certified. The courses covered information technology, care of the elderly, community care, tele-services, child care training, return to work, career development, heavy goods vehicles, computerised accounts and payroll, hairdressing etc. This exercise is currently being replicated for the employees of the Fruit of the Loom factory in Buncrana who were made redundant most recently. On the follow-through, I understand many of the former employees are in new employment but I do not have specific details. I will forward details to the Deputy if I obtain them.
The road network is not my responsibility but it is being addressed under the national development plan roads strategy. Although the N2 will not be of the same standard as the roads to other cities, it will be a vast improvement on the existing road network to Donegal. The Deputy made a valid point that the issue of road access to Donegal should be revisited as speed to market and the international airport in the capital is important for the county's development.
I am not aware of the comments made by the former chief executive of the IDA but a number of new companies have located in County Donegal recently, of which Specific Care is one. The significant difference between the current IDA strategy for Donegal and that which pertained in the past is that a variety of companies from different sectors are locating there. In the past, there was an over-concentration on certain sectors in areas such as Donegal and the midlands and when those sectors got into difficulty, huge downturns resulted. The current strategy, albeit time-consuming, is working and I am confident there will be more good news for Donegal in the near future.