An Enterprise Development Forum has been established by Údarás na Gaeltachta with the aim of sourcing new enterprises/businesses to locate in the Northwest Donegal Gaeltacht and create new employment opportunities. The Forum was established following the recent decision by Largo Foods to close their manufacturing facility in the Gaoth Dobhair Business Park and relocate to Co. Meath. The Enterprise Development Forum had its first meeting today in Údarás offices in the Business Park and the working group consists of representatives from Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, Solas, Donegal County Council, the Letterkenny Institute of Technology, The Department of Social Protection, The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Údarás na Gaeltachta.
The Minister of State for the Gaeltacht, Dinny Mc Ginley TD was present at the meeting and welcomed the establishment of the forum. “Largo Foods decision to transfer its business to Co. Meath will have a big effect on this area. I welcome this step taken by Údarás na Gaeltachta to focus more resources on attracting new business to Gaoth Dobhair. I and Executives from my Department will do all we can to support this working group as they undertake steps to find new employment opportunities for this area. I realise that this is a challenge for Údarás, but I am confident of the organisation’s track record in relation to job creation.”
The Chief Executive of the Údarás, Steve Ó Cúláin, said “Údarás is dedicated to this community, and we recognise that new employment opportunities are required as soon as possible. It is the enterprises that create jobs, not Údarás, and plans will be undertaken immediately as part of the work of this forum to address the challenge of attracting new businesses. I am delighted that the other enterprise development organisations are part of this working group, they deal with enterprises and businesses all over the country and internationally on a daily basis and they are prepared to offer us every support to find new employment opportunities. We recognise the importance of offering the Gaeltacht community, and specifically those seeking employment, the opportunity to add to their skills and training and Solas and the Letterkenny Institute of Technology are co-operating with us on that effort.”
“Business infrastructure, such as high-speed low-cost broadband, electricity, and high quality enterprise facilities, are necessary and central to any effort to attract new businesses. We will be focusing on those requirements in conjunction with the relevant agencies and organisations, Údarás will reinvest in the infrastructure and business facilities in the Gaoth Dobhair Business Park, and developments will be undertaken to ensure that high quality facilities services are available here.” he said.
The forum will operate for a period of 6 months and it will result in an action plan focused on the renewal of enterprise and employment in the Gaoth Dobhair Business Park.