Cavan/Monaghan Fianna Fáil T.D. Brendan Smith has received confirmation from Chief Executive IDA Ireland that the IDA Cavan Business and Technology Park at Killygarry and County Council lands in Virginia are being considered as potential sites for the location of a large scale Data Centre.
“Earlier this year through Parliamentary Questions in Dáil Éireann and in meetings with the Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation Minister I had specifically requested that Co. Cavan be considered in a study then being commissioned by IDA Ireland to identify potential strategic land banks for the sustainable development of large scale Data Centres.
The Minister at that time undertook to convey my proposal directly to IDA Ireland. I am glad that in recent correspondence from IDA Ireland the CEO has confirmed to me that the IDA is currently evaluating a number of property solutions throughout the country and Cavan and Virginia sites are included”, stated Brendan Smith T.D.
The IDA Ireland CEO replied as follows;
In relation to your query, IDA Ireland is working with key stakeholders nationally to identify and evaluate property & infrastructural solutions that will meet the stringent needs of data centre investors, particularly around the areas of accessibility, planning, power and telecommunications infrastructure. IDA, through our consultants, is currently evaluating a number of property solutions in each of the 8 regional locations. IDA has engaged with Cavan County Council as part of this process. The IDA Cavan Business & Technology Park and the lands in Virginia in the ownership of Cavan County Council has been incorporated into the continuing evaluation process. Regional business development is of core focus for IDA and in respect of this national data centre evaluation, it will focus on key investments in the likes of power generation, supply, national & international connectivity, amongst other items, that make Ireland’s regions competitive for data centre investments.
Fianna Fáil’s Spokesperson on Border Region Development, Deputy Brendan Smith, has accused the Government of sleep-walking through the ongoing jobs crisis in the border region.
According to the latest Live Register figures, the Border region is lagging far behind the rest of the country when it comes to tackling the jobs crisis.
Deputy Smith explained, “As of the end of March, there were 6,553 people on the Live Register in Cavan and 5,885 people on the Live Register in Monaghan. That’s a tiny decrease from the 6,713 and 6,012 respectively at the end of February. The decrease is more than offset by the numbers who have been forced to leave the area for work, the numbers who have dropped off the live register to engage in education and training and the numbers who have been kicked off the Live Register because their Job Seekers entitlements have expired.
“It means that we have seen virtually no improvement in the employment situation in Cavan, Monaghan and right across the border region. It adds to the strong sense that there is a two-tiered recovery underway in this country. While Dublin may be benefiting from some improvements, this region is being left behind. There has been a major fall-off in IDA visits to this region over the past three years and little or no focus by this Government in creating jobs in Cavan, Monaghan and the border region.
“It’s extremely frustrating for job seekers across Cavan and Monaghan to hear the Government praising itself for the ‘improvements’ in the labour market, when unfortunately there is little evidence of any improvements in communities across the border. The Government cannot afford to sit back and claim that we no longer have a jobs crisis. This is simply not true. Over 200 people a day are still emigrating. There are now 180,000 people across the country who have been out of work for over 12 months. And we have serious regional imbalances in employment rates that seem to be growing month on month.
“I am once again calling on the Government to recognise the extent of the job crisis in the border region and start making a targeted effort to create jobs here. We cannot continue to allow a situation where parts of the country experience some economic recovery while other parts, like Cavan and Monaghan, are left behind. It’s time that this Government made this region a priority.”