Fianna Fáil TD for Galway East, Anne Rabbitte, has called for the IDA and the government to outline their plans for the development of Athenry’s major industrial and technology sites.
It was revealed recently that the 500-acre site, which was earmarked for an €850 million data centre before it fell afoul of planning objections, has been placed on the market by Apple.
Deputy Rabbitte commented:
Athenry has been hit with many setbacks when it comes to job creation and town rejuvenation and something needs to be done. 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.
It’s not just the Apple site either. The IDA has a massive 240-acre site in Athenry that has been sitting idle for over a decade. It was bought for €36 million and yet there’s been no development. If these sites were developed and companies attracted in, whether it be technology, pharma or otherwise, it would be a major boost to the town and surrounding areas. I’ve put a number of questions to the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, seeking detailed plans from the government on how they’re tackling the repeated shortcomings in Athenry. There is a Minister in the area and we still haven’t seen any progress being made.
Deputy Rabbitte concluded:
I am 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. This is not a 1000 piece jigsaw. If the government are not going to be proactive, we will get this done ourselves.