Athenry “ditched yet again” with lack of investment says Rabbitte

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The government and IDA have failed to show a cohesive vision to develop industrial and technology sites in Athenry Anne Rabbitte has said.

The Galway East TD was referring to the news that Apple has announced plans to sell off the 500 acre site near Athenry it had planned to use for its €850 million date centre.

“Athenry has been hit with many setbacks when it comes to job creation and town rejuvenation and something needs to be done,” Anne Rabbitte said.

“The loss of the Apple site was a major setback for Athenry, not to mention Galway County Council losing out on a potential €2 million in annual rates.”

The Fianna Fáil TD went on to say that the issues go further than just the disappointing end to the long running Apple saga.

She also said that the IDA has failed to do anything with a 240 acre site outside of town in its possession which has been lying idle for years.

“It was bought for €36 million and yet there’s been no development. If these sites were developed and companies attracted in, whether technology, pharma or otherwise, it would be a major boost to the town and surrounding areas.”

Deputy Rabbitte said that she has requested a plan from the government on how it plans to utilise this site and tackle repeated “shortcomings” in developing Athenry economically, putting that in question to Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys.

“There’s a Minister in the area and we still haven’t seen any progress being made,” she lamented.

“I’m in the process of organising a public meeting on the rejuvenation of Athenry Town Centre in the coming weeks, which I hope will allow local businesses and residents in the town voice their opinions on what needs to be done. If the government aren’t going to be proactive, we’ll get this done ourselves”.