Saturday, June 15, 2024

‘Mullingar has been airbrushed off Irish map by IDA’

When local Mullingar author Jack Kiernan went from his home at Great Oaks to Dublin, to picket the IDA headquarters, he did so because he is seriously annoyed by what he perceives and believes to be an anti-Mullingar attitude prevailing in official circles, particularly including downgrading and ignoring by the IDA.
Mr. Kiernan, determined to obtain a meeting with the IDA to ask them basic questions about their approach to getting any new factories or projects for Mullingar, was finally informed that the IDA would meet him, but the responses he describes having received, when he met them, are worrying, from the viewpoint of any politician or anyone interested in Mullingar’s future prospects.
It was on 29 June that Jack Kiernan eventually succeeded in getting a meeting with two representatives from the IDA Mid- lands Region, Paule Veale and Bríd Somers, and he raised what he saw as key issues with them.
Jack Kiernan told them about the present serious unemployment situation in the town and the IDA’s failure to attract any multinationals to Mullingar, describing how, “when we look north at Longford, we see government buildings; south at Tullamore, we see the same; west at Athlone we see Government buildings, but when we look at Mullingar, we see the town sinking in the middle of Ireland’s Bermuda Triangle.
“This is proof that we in Mullingar are being attacked from all angles, i.e. by the government and their agencies, including He pointed out the town’s
major losses, like Columb Barracks, the planned and agreed but non-existent Department of Education HQ, the Re-registration Office, Imperial Tobacco, Harvey Norman, Buckley’s Hotel, Shaws Drapery, Bank of Scotland and National Bank, plus numerous smaller businesses.
“I told them the IDA Mid- lands Region had decided, for reasons best known to themselves, to airbrush Mullingar off the map of ireland.”

MULLINGAR BIGGER
“Mullingar has a larger population than Athlone, Longford and Tullamore, but double the national unemployment average figures. The Census figures for Athlone are fake, as on Census night, its popula- tion was boosted by stu- dents from all over the midlands and the FAS training centre, thereby creating false census numbers.
“Mullingar is only an hour from Dublin, local broadband is excellent, and we have fully serviced industrial building sites. At Marlinstown, the IDA has failed to get even one business in 10 or 12 years. Patterson are there but merely moved from else- where in Mullingar.”
Mr. Kiernan said he pointed out to the IDA representatives that Mullingar has always had a young, well educated workforce, but they had to go else- where to work each week, and the town also has hundreds of students graduating each year, but then these have to leave to secure employment.
“I pointed out that in Athlone, where the IDA Midlands has located the majority of multi-nation- als, it is doing more for Roscommon than West- meath What’s wrong with Mullingar?” I asked them and “why is this allowed to happen?”
“I’m sure the Western Region IDA are delighted to see our crowd placing industry right on their doorstep, making them look good,” he added.

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