Concerns Downplayed Despite Sharp Fall-Off In IDA Visits

Shannon Chamber has played down concerns about a fall-off in IDA site visits to Clare, saying quality is far more important than quantity.

New figures show there have been just nine IDA-sponsored site visits in this county so far this year, down from 22 in total in 2017.


There’s been an almost 60% fall-off in the number of IDA-sponsored site visits by companies looking to invest in Clare so far this year.

The latest figures show there were just two visits by Foreign Direct Investment firms to the county between July and September of this year, bringing the total number so far to 9.

That’s on track to fall well short of the total number of 22 recorded last year.

Seven counties had more of these visits in the last quarter – these were Offaly, Westmeath, Louth, Sligo, Waterford, Kerry and Mayo.

Former Ennis Mayor, Fine Gael’s Johnny Flynn has expressed disappointment over the drop in visits this year but he hopes there will be a surge in interest if a proposed 400 million euro data centre in the county town gets the green light.

The Cathaoirleach of the West Clare Municipal District has hit out over the dramatic drop, saying he believes without IDA support, it will be difficult to attract foreign investment into the county.

Independent Councillor Ian Lynch has also raised concern over the lack of interest in areas outside Ennis and Shannon.

But Shannon Chamber has played down concerns, saying the quality of visits is far more important than the quantity.

Chief Executive Helen Downes is confident that the IDA is committed to the midwest region and says increased foreign direct investment is more beneficial to the region.