Subsidiary Protection Applications

Ceisteanna (371)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

371. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if the attention of the relevant section has been drawn to the case of a person (details supplied); and if all relevant information has been received. [24231/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy is aware, if an application for asylum or subsidiary protection has been made in the State, for confidentiality reasons it is not the practice to comment on such applications or to provide comment on what stage such applications are at in the administrative process. Under Section 26 of the International Protection Act 2015, it is an offence to identify an international applicant. As a result it would be contrary to national law for me or my Department officials to provide information which pertains to a protection applicant. The Chief International Protection Officer and his team of International Protection Officers are also bound by the confidentiality provisions of Section 26 of the 2015 Act to protect the identity of the applicant. The applicant or his legal representative should contact the International Protection Office directly either by email to info@ipo.gov.ie, by telephone to the IPO Customer Service Centre at 01 6028008 or in writing to Customer Service Centre, International Protection Office, 79-83 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2.

Following the commencement of the International Protection Act 2015 on 31 December 2016, new arrangements for the investigation and determination of applications for international protection (refugee status and subsidiary protection) and cases involving permission to remain in the State have been introduced. Such applications are now processed, as part of a single application procedure, by the International Protection Office (IPO) which has replaced the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner (ORAC) from that date. The staff of that Office (the Chief International Protection Officer and International Protection Officers) are independent in the performance of their protection functions.

For your information, on 27 February 2017, the Chief International Protection Officer, following consultation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), published a statement on the Prioritisation of Applications under the International Protection Act 2015 which is available on the website of the International Protection Office (www.ipo.gov.ie ).

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission Investigations

Ceisteanna (372)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

372. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will address a matter regarding a complaint by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24239/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I can inform the Deputy that the person referred to had sought the setting up of an inquiry under section 109 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 arising from his dissatisfaction with the progress of his complaint to GSOC.

I examined the matter in light of the person's request and, as I am required to do under the Act, I consulted with GSOC.  Following that consultation I decided that there were not sufficient grounds for me to invoke section 109 of the Act. 

My office wrote to the person on 19 December 2018 to inform him of my decision.  The letter also set out the grounds for the decision including that the conduct alleged against the GSOC designated officer was not such as to meet the threshold for invoking section 109.  It encouraged him to continue to engage with GSOC in order to progress the investigation of his complaint.

For the sake of clarity I want to say that the request for a section 109 inquiry did not result in a discontinuation of the GSOC investigation.  Consequently there was no referral by me to GSOC in this instance. 

I should point out, given the nature of an inquiry under section 109 of the Garda Síochána Act, that it cannot be considered to be an ordinary complaints or grievance procedure.  An inquiry under section 109 requires the Chief Justice to request a judge of a superior court to conduct the inquiry.  Such an inquiry must, therefore, be viewed as being far from a standard occurrence.

Gangland Crime

Ceisteanna (373)

Seán Haughey

Ceist:

373. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the details of his publicised meeting with An Garda Síochána in Coolock Garda station on 4 June 2019; the decisions taken at the meeting to tackle gangland crime in north Dublin; his plans to open a new Garda station at Northern Cross, Dublin 17, following the meeting as reported by the media; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24260/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy is aware, last week I accepted an invitation from Ministers Bruton, McGrath and Senator Noone to meet with community groups in the Dublin 13 and 17 areas, under the umbrella of the Northside Partnership.  This meeting involved representatives of various community initiatives in the Coolock, Darndale and Clongriffin areas, local school principals, Gardaí and local residents. I had the benefit of hearing the concerns and suggestions put forward by locals, covering issues such as education, employment and sport, and an undertaking was given that the Government will give them further consideration.  I also took the opportunity to outline the whole of government approach which is being taken to policing and community safety under the implementation plan of the Commission of the Future of Policing in Ireland report overseen by the Department of An Taoiseach. 

We also met with senior members from An Garda Síochána and my Department at Coolock Garda Station. At the meeting, Gardaí briefed me on progress made in the various investigations and also set out actions they had already taken to enhance relationships with the community in the area. I am advised that a high level meeting also took place between the senior Garda managers responsible for community safety, intelligence and drugs and organised crime in order to manage the co-ordinated response to the recent killings, and I understand this group will continue to meet.

As the Deputy will be aware, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the effective and efficient use of Garda resources and this includes responsibility for the formulation of proposals in relation to the opening and closing of Garda stations. As recently as December 2018, the Garda Síochána Inspectorate in its report “Policing with Local Communities” confirmed that it is appropriate that the Commissioner should continue to hold this responsibility.

I am advised that An Garda Síochána has had preliminary discussions with Dublin City Council in relation to the possible provision of a site for the development of new facilities in North Dublin.  My Department has been informed by Garda management that the question of developing a Garda station in the Clongriffin area will be the subject of further consideration within An Garda Síochána and with other stakeholders.

Visa Applications

Ceisteanna (374)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

374. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when a visa will issue in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24293/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the visa application referred to is expected to be examined in the coming week by the visa office in Abuja. A decision will then issue directly to both the applicant and the sponsor.

I am further advised that the Policy Document on Family Reunification contains a stated business target that visa applications for the purpose of family reunification should be expected to be dealt with within twelve months of receipt of the application by the relevant visa office. However, it should be noted that this is a business target and does not constitute a legal obligation. The business target reflects the detailed and often complex assessment that is required to be carried out in relation to applications of this type.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to INIS by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

In addition, applicants may themselves e-mail queries directly to INIS (visamail@justice.ie).

International Protection

Ceisteanna (375)

Thomas Pringle

Ceist:

375. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of employment declaration forms received from persons in the asylum process since June 2018, by types of occupations in which persons in the asylum process are currently employed in tabular form. [24294/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

When an international protection applicant is issued with a labour market access permission under the European Communities (Reception Conditions) Regulations 2018 and takes up employment, the employer (or the applicant in cases of self-employment) is obliged to inform the Minister within 21 days. A standard form for this purpose is available on the website of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department.

Based on the returned declaration forms received to date I am advised that a total of 1,085/employers/applicants have indicated they have commenced employment or self-employment. As the employer or applicant has 21 days from the time they take up employment or self-employment to return the declaration form, there is likely to be a time lag between the actual date of commencement of employment and INIS being notified of same, and therefore this will not be reflected in the figures quoted.

Data in respect of the types of occupations protection applicants have taken up is not available in the format or detail requested by the Deputy and would require a disproportionate amount of staff resources to compile with diversion of these resources from processing of applications which is the priority. However, I am advised by INIS that holders gain employment in varied occupations with large numbers in the hospitality and retail sectors and with smaller numbers in areas such as ICT and HR, engineering, healthcare and working for NGOs.

I should also add that not all applicants who are granted access to the labour market may choose to enter the workforce or may postpone doing so for a number of reasons such as participation in education or training programmes, which the permission grants them access to, or for family reasons such as childcare, etc.

Health and Safety Authority Data

Ceisteanna (376, 386)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

376. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the budget allocation to the Health and Safety Authority in each of the years 2017 to 2019, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23247/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Pat Casey

Ceist:

386. Deputy Pat Casey asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the budget allocation for the Health and Safety Authority in each of the years 2017 to 2019, in tabular form. [24111/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 376 and 386 together.

Health and Safety Authority Budget Allocation 2017 - 2019

Year

Budget Allocation

2017

€18,112,000

2018

€19,275,000

2019

€19,783,000

The Health and Safety Authority delivers on a broad remit of work across a very wide mandate which includes occupational health and safety, chemical safety, market surveillance and national accreditation.

In the area of occupational health and safety the Authority is involved in the provision of advice, tools, education and support as well as inspection, investigation and prosecutions. In any given year the Health and Safety Authority carries out over 9,500 inspections and investigations under safety, health and chemicals legislation. The focus on inspection and investigation is risk based and evidence led with the highest levels of inspections and investigations taking place in construction; agriculture; manufacturing; wholesale and retail with written advice, improvement notices and prohibition notices for more serious breaches observed. The Authority had 15 prosecutions in 2018, resulting in total fines imposed of €705,972.

In relation to chemicals, the Authority adopts a similar approach as it does with the occupational health and safety areas of its remit in terms of support, advice, inspection and investigation under the different regulations in addition to acting as the lead Competent Authority under the Chemicals Acts 2008 and 2010. As the Competent Authority, the Authority delivers on national objectives in relation to the evaluation, hazard identification and risk management of chemicals manufactured and used in Europe. The Health and Safety Authority also carries out Competent Authority functions in relation to Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations (COMAH), completing specific inspections in the area as the regulator. The Authority is responsible in Ireland for delivering on national commitments in relation to the Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations by completing inspections of vehicles and premises.

In relation to the occupational hygiene programme and delivering on its policy and inspection objectives, the Authority targets actions in relation to asbestos, biological, chemical and physical agents by carrying out asbestos inspections and if required prosecutions in relation to asbestos and construction related contraventions. The Authority’s role also extends into the area of market surveillance on chemical and industrial products which are placed on the Irish market to check whether they are in compliance with chemical and industrial products legislation requirements.

The Irish National Accreditation Board (INAB), which is part of the Health and Safety Authority, has the National Accreditation role in Ireland. It assesses applicants for accreditation and accredits conformity assessment bodies.

I am satisfied that the Health and Safety Authority has been adequately funded over the years 2017 to 2019 to deliver effectively on its extensive mandate.

IDA Ireland Staff

Ceisteanna (377)

Thomas Pringle

Ceist:

377. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of IDA employees earning between €80,000 and €90,000, €90,000 and €100,000 and so on; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23274/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

The Enterprise agencies under my remit, including IDA Ireland, are provided with an overall pay ceiling within which they have some flexibility to align staffing resources to both manage operations and meet strategic priorities. It should be remembered that IDA Ireland's staff includes highly-qualified personnel hired abroad - in highly competitive marketplaces - to secure valuable and job-rich investment for Ireland.

The following table outlines the number of employees in IDA Ireland in salary brackets ranging from €80,000 to €90,000 to above €100,000.

Salary Level-2018

Number of Employees

€80,000-90,000

32

€90,001-100,000

18

€100,001-110,000

7

€110,001-120,000

3

€120,001-130,000

6

€130,001-140,000

6

€140,001-150,000

4

€150,001-160,000

2

€160,001-170,000

1

€170,001-180,000

1

State Bodies Funding

Ceisteanna (378)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

378. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the amount of funds held by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board; if there is a mechanism for withdrawing the funding to the Exchequer; the progress made in this regard; her plans to use the funds for insurance reform; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23387/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

In 2011, the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) refunded its establishment costs of €6.9 million to the Exchequer. In 2017 the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) recommended that my Department and PIAB agree an appropriate level of revenue reserves to be retained by PIAB and the basis for holding such a reserve. The C&AG also recommended the introduction of appropriate legislation to deal with excess funds held by PIAB. Legal advice obtained by the Department at that time was to the effect that legislative change was required to enable the Board to remit excess moneys to the Exchequer.

At the end of 2018, the cumulative reserves held by PIAB were €18.1 million.

Section 74A of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act 2003 as inserted by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (Amendment) Act 2019, provides that PIAB may, with the consent of the Ministers for Business, Enterprise and Innovation and Public Expenditure and Reform, retain a specified sum of money for the purposes of expenditure by the Board in the performance of its functions. The sum to be retained shall be determined having regard to the operational, capital and contingency costs of the Board.

Following the enactment of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (Amendment) Act 2019, my Department wrote to PIAB to request proposals for the surrender of moneys to the Exchequer, having regard to their operational, capital and contingency costs. The proposals received are currently being considered by my Department.

It will be a matter for Government to allocate the moneys remitted by PIAB as it considers appropriate.

Business Regulation

Ceisteanna (379)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

379. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the regulatory framework that applies here to the accountancy and auditing profession; the roles of the different bodies involved in the regulation of the profession; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23496/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

The Companies Act 2014 sets out the framework for the oversight of the accountancy and auditing profession in Ireland. The Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (IAASA) is an independent body responsible for the supervision of the auditing and accounting profession and its objects, functions and powers are set out in the 2014 Act.

IAASA’s mission is to contribute to Ireland having a strong regulatory environment in which to do business by supervising and promoting high quality financial reporting, auditing and effective regulation of the accounting profession in the public interest.

In relation to accountancy, IAASA is responsible for the supervision of the prescribed accountancy bodies in respect of how these bodies regulate and monitor their members including on investigations and disciplinary matters. There are eight of these bodies currently.

In relation to auditing, IAASA is designated as the single competent authority with responsibility for the oversight of statutory auditors and audit firms in accordance with the EU Audit Directive (2006/43/EC as amended by Directive 2014/56/EU) and Regulation (EU) 537/2014. The oversight tasks in respect of statutory auditors are:

- the approval of accountants to act as statutory auditors and public registration;

- the adoption of standards on professional ethics, internal quality control of audit firms and auditing;

- continuing education of auditors;

- quality assurance of audits; and

- investigation and administrative disciplinary systems.

Five of the prescribed accountancy bodies are recognised by IAASA for the purposes of carrying out oversight tasks of the approval and registration of statutory auditors and audit firms; continuing education; quality assurance systems; investigative and administrative disciplinary systems in respect of statutory auditors and audit firms. These are the recognised accountancy bodies.

Under the Audit Regulation, IAASA has direct responsibility for the quality assurance of audits of public-interest entities. Public-interest entities are systemically important entities such as credit institutions and insurance undertakings. Entities with securities listed on a regulated main market in the EU are also classified as public-interest entities. IAASA is also responsible for any investigations or sanctions arising, as a result of those quality assurance inspections.

IAASA also has discretionary powers under the 2014 Act including to inquire how a prescribed accountancy body has carried out its investigation and disciplinary procedures and to inquire into how a recognised accountancy body performs the audit oversight tasks.

IAASA also has responsibility for the registration and supervision of third country auditors i.e. auditors of companies incorporated in a country outside the EU that are listed on a regulated market in Ireland.

IAASA is independent in the exercise of its functions and details of its activities can be found in the Authority’s annual reports which are submitted to Government and published on its website: https://www.iaasa.ie/Publications/General.

Health and Safety Inspections Data

Ceisteanna (380)

Niall Collins

Ceist:

380. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of inspections carried out by the Health and Safety Authority on fairground and funfair equipment and roller coasters in each of the years 2011 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; the number of instances of health and safety breaches that were reported following such inspections; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23556/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

It should be noted that responsibility for the licensing and operation of Funfairs is a policy matter for Housing, Planning and Local Government as the existing legislation dealing with licensing of funfairs, the duties on organisers of funfairs, and the owners of fairground equipment, in the context of public safety, is covered by the Planning and Development Act 2000.

The role of the Health and Safety Authority in relation to Funfairs arises in the context of their overall legislative remit on workplace health and safety and in ensuring the protection of workers at work. In this regard the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) carried out 18 inspections during from 2011 to the present and the breakdown of those inspections can be seen in the following table.

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Inspections

2

2

0

6

3

1

1

2

1

Investigations

1

0

0

2

1

1

1

0

0

Verbal Advice

0

0

0

0

3

0

0

1

Written advice

2

1

0

6

0

1

1

2

0

Improvement Notice

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

The findings of these inspections led to 6 formal investigations taking place, 4 instances when verbal advice was provided, 13 instances of written advice and an improvement notice was issued in one instance.

The HSA’s inspection of workplaces programme is carefully planned each year based on risk and as such its proactive programme of work focuses primarily on high risk sectors, sectors where there are a high level of workplace fatalities and serious injuries occurring such as agriculture, construction, health and social care sectors. Given the low level of workplace incidents in fairgrounds, any inspections are reactive rather than proactive and the HSA does not have a proactive programme of work in this sector.

HSA inspectors are granted a broad range of enforcement powers through the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005. In instances where a serious breach of regulation/contravention in a place of work is identified, an Inspector can issue an improvement notice on the person in control of the place of work directing them to comply with the regulation within a set time frame. As already indicated there was one improvement notice issued in this sector for the time period 2011 – 2018.

In addition should an Inspector observe a breach of regulation/contravention that could give rise to the immediate risk of serious workplace injury, the Inspector can issue a Prohibition Notice on the person in control of the place of work directing them to stop the activity immediately and not to resume until such time as there are appropriate remedial measures have been put in place to address the contravention and reduce the risk of serious injury. No such Prohibition Notices were issued in this sector for the time period 2011 -2018.

Finally, in instances where an inspector observes minor contraventions they can issue written advice or give verbal advice to the person in control of the place of work. During the period covered such advice was given in 17 instances.

Health and Safety Authority Data

Ceisteanna (381)

Niall Collins

Ceist:

381. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of injuries reported to the Health and Safety Authority following the use of fairground and funfair equipment and roller coasters by persons in each of the years 2011 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23557/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

It should be noted that responsibility for the licensing and operation of Funfairs is a policy matter for Housing, Planning and Local Government as the existing legislation dealing with licensing of funfairs, the duties on organisers of funfairs, and the owners of fairground equipment, in the context of public safety, is covered by the Planning and Development Act 2000.

The role of the Health and Safety Authority in relation to Funfairs arises in the context of their overall legislative remit on workplace health and safety and in ensuring the protection of workers at work.

There were 5 accidents reported to the Health and Safety Authority relating to the fairground and funfair equipment and roller coaster sector for the time period from 2011 to date 2019. Information regarding the years these were reported can be seen in the following table.

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Reported Injuries

0

0

0

1

3

0

1

0

0

It is important to clarify that there are a number of provisions that apply to the individual reporting responsibilities for accident reporting:

The reporting responsibility of an employer in relation to employee:

An employer must report the injury of any employee as a result of an accident that occurred while at work where the injury results in your employee being unable to carry out their normal work for more than three consecutive days, excluding the day of the accident.

The reporting responsibility of a person in control of a place of work in relation to a non-employee:

A person in control of a place of work must report the injury of a person who is not their employee and who is not at work but who was injured from a work activity in the instance where the injured person has had to be taken from the location of the accident in order to receive treatment in respect of that injury in a hospital or medical facility.

In addition, it is important to provide clarity in relation to the statutory requirements for the reporting of accidents to the HSA. There are three situations in which an accident should be reported to the Authority:

(I) in the course of employment resulting in personal injury to the person carrying out the work activity. This could be an injury to an employee who is actually doing the work.

(b.)(ii) the course of employment which results in personal injury to an employee who was not doing the work that is the subject of the accident

(c.)(iii) from a work activity which results in personal injury to a person outside of the course of employment.

IDA Ireland Site Visits

Ceisteanna (382)

John Brady

Ceist:

382. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of IDA visits to County Wicklow in each of the past five years; the location of each visit; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23570/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

The IDA's performance in 2018 reflects the joint emphasis the Agency and the Government have placed on increasing foreign direct investment (FDI) into regional locations. Last year, for example, 56% of all net new jobs created by IDA client firms were in locations outside Dublin. Similarly, every region in Ireland, experienced FDI-supported employment growth. There are now over 132,000 people employed across 681 firms in IDA client companies outside the capital. This amounts to 58% of all IDA-supported employment and represents the highest number of people ever employed in the regions by Agency client companies.

Whilst site visits remain an important tool in helping showcase regional locations – whether in Wicklow or elsewhere – to investors, it is important to remember that the final decision as to where to invest rests solely with the company concerned. It is also the case that site visit activity does not necessarily reflect investment potential, as a significant proportion of all new FDI comes from existing IDA clients already present in the country.

FDI levels in Wicklow are trending in the right direction. The County saw a 17% increase in FDI employment last year, with 388 net new jobs added by IDA client companies. The IDA are working hard to attract further such investment in 2019.

The following table outlines the number of IDA site visits to Wicklow from 2014 through to the first quarter of 2019. Information is not available on the locations of specific visits within the County, on account of IDA client confidentiality.

County

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Q1 2019

Wicklow

4

7

5

2

1

4

IDA Ireland Site Visits

Ceisteanna (383)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

383. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of visits to IDA sites across Roscommon town and Ballinasloe in 2016, 2017 and 2018; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23774/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

The IDA's performance in 2018 reflects the emphasis the Agency and the Government have placed on increasing foreign direct investment (FDI) into regional locations. Last year, for example, 56% of all net new jobs created by IDA client firms were in locations outside Dublin. Similarly, every region in Ireland experienced FDI-supported employment growth. There are now over 132,000 people employed across 681 firms in IDA client companies outside the capital. This amounts to 58% of all IDA-supported employment and represents the highest number of people ever employed in the regions by Agency client companies.

County Galway witnessed an 8% increase in employment by IDA client companies in 2018. FDI levels in County Roscommon also moved in a positive direction last year, with a 3% increase in IDA client-supported employment.

Data on IDA Ireland site visits is collated on a county by county basis. Information on site visits to specific locations - including individual towns - is therefore unavailable. Whilst site visits do remain an important tool in helping showcase regional locations to investors, it is important to remember that the final decision as to where to invest rests solely with the company concerned. It is also the case that site visit activity does not necessarily reflect investment potential, as a significant proportion of all new FDI comes from existing IDA clients already present in the country.

The following table provides details of IDA site visits to Counties Roscommon and Galway between 2016 and Q1 2019:

County

2016

2017

2018

Q1 2019

Roscommon

1

3

3

0

Galway

42

62

54

9