I thank Deputy Lowry for raising this matter. I am mindful of the anxiety that possible redundancies in the group's operations in County Tipperary would create for the workers involved and their families as well as the local communities.
The rationalisation plan of the company concerned is a commercial matter for that company. I understand that the C&C Group completed the acquisition of the Gleeson Group in March 2013. The acquisition demonstrates the group's commitment to invest in Ireland. The Gleeson business is now being combined with the group's existing cider and beer business and will provide the company with a platform to drive growth throughout the market.
I understand from Enterprise Ireland that the company concerned is not an Enterprise Ireland client because its activities are mainly in the distribution of drinks. In addition, Enterprise Ireland has not grant aided the company's mineral water bottling operations in Borrisoleigh because it does not export. Enterprise Ireland does, however, have an active relationship with other companies in the group, mainly on research and development support programmes. Redundancies were announced in one of these companies recently relating to the sales and administration functions in Dublin. This company is a key client for Enterprise Ireland and has been provided with research and development and other supports. Enterprise Ireland continues to have ongoing discussions with this company.
I understand that the company concerned has initiated a consultation process, under the Protection of Employment Acts 1977 to 2007, with its employees and their representatives who are affected by the associated rationalisation plan that the Deputy referred to at the plants in Borrisoleigh and Clonmel. In this regard, I should point out that the services of the Labour Relations Commission are available to assist the parties concerned, if requested.
Employment retention and creation continues to be our primary objective and we have been working hard to create the improved economic conditions which will support the maintenance of existing jobs and the creation of new ones. A robust economy capable of capturing new opportunities and sustaining jobs requires a medium to long-term vision. Action Plan for Jobs is a key pillar in the delivery of that goal. This year's action plan for jobs will build on the success of the 2012 action plan. It includes 333 actions for delivery throughout all Departments and 46 agencies or offices. The enterprise development agencies under the aegis of my Department have been to the fore in delivering on the commitments set out in Action Plan for Jobs and continue to ensure businesses can maximise their contribution to economic recovery and employment growth.
I assure the House that we consider it important that the impact of redundancies from any source on employment in Clonmel and Borrisoleigh is minimised and the State enterprise agencies and the county enterprise boards will continue to make every effort to develop new employment opportunities for County Tipperary.
Enterprise Ireland activity is focused on the creation of new jobs through continuing to work with established companies in its portfolio. The agency is also supporting entrepreneurs in manufacturing and internationally trading services companies that are setting up high-potential startup companies. The agency works toward enhancing the innovation capability in its client companies through the support of research both in companies and through continuing work to assist commercialisation of research in third level establishments.
The county enterprise boards have responsibility for the delivery of State support to the indigenous micro enterprise sector. The current priorities for the CEBs include assisting owner-managers to enhance the survival and sustainability of their businesses in these difficult economic times and to assist people wishing to start their own businesses, including those who have been made redundant. The CEBs provide a valuable resource for those starting a business. Anyone who has been made redundant or who is facing redundancy in Borrisoleigh or Clonmel and who is interested in exploring options for setting up their own business should contact the appropriate enterprise board, either Tipperary South Riding County Enterprise Board or Tipperary North Riding County Enterprise Board, for advice and assistance.
In addition to marketing County Tipperary for new investment, IDA Ireland works with its existing client companies in the county with a view to encouraging them to grow and embed their business in the county. The primary opportunity for regional locations is in respect of the existing client base and potential further investment opportunities from that base. In this context, it is notable that approximately 70% of all foreign direct investment won by IDA Ireland are from its existing client base.
My colleague, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Deputy Bruton, is determined to ensure Ireland can continue to compete globally for foreign direct investment. In winning such investments, we are mindful of the need to address the concerns that have been expressed by Deputies on all sides of the House about the relatively low level of site visits to certain regional locations. The Minister, Deputy Bruton, has accordingly requested IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland to work with the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation to explore what further initiatives we can take to ensure a better approach to enterprise development in regional locations. This exercise will complement the in-depth analysis of our foreign direct investment strategy currently being undertaken. The analysis will take account of factors, including key trends emerging in foreign direct investment, best practice internationally, Ireland's strengths in attracting foreign direct investment and changes to the EU's state aid rules that will be introduced in 2014. Our approach to regional development will inform the formulation of an appropriate foreign direct investment strategy for the period post 2014.
I am confident the measures outlined in Action Plan for Jobs, together with other policies and initiatives being pursued by the State agencies and the county enterprise boards in County Tipperary, will continue to support enterprise development and provide employment opportunities. The State agencies will continue to work closely with each other and with local interests to support an integrated approach to job creation in Borrisoleigh and Clonmel.