Fermanagh South Tyrone Sinn Féin Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Greene slams Invest NI under-investment in Fermanagh

Published: 14 December, 2018

Sinn Féin Councillor for Erne East, Sheamus Greene, has said Fermanagh was starved of investment under the watch of Arlene Foster as DETI minister.

Speaking from Coonian, Councillor Greene said:

"I submitted a freedom of information request to Invest NI on under-investment in our county compared to the other five counties under its' remit.

"Over the past five years, Invest NI have offered only £13.51 million in assistance to Fermanagh. That's a disgraceful £2.7 million per year. Compare this to £298.4 million in Antrim and £124.78 million in County Down and we immediately see a huge disparity in per capita spending.

"Invest NI are offering £97 per capita per year in County Antrim, but only £44 per capita per year in County Fermanagh which sits bottom of the list.

"In total counties Fermanagh, Tyrone, Derry and Armagh received offers of £210 million over a five-year period. Over twice that much assistance, £422 million, was offered to Antrim and Down.

"Fifty years on from the Civil Rights Movement there continues to be a huge disparity in investment between east and west of the Bann.

"The chronic lack of investment in border counties is disgraceful. It has devastated our rural communities since partition, causing high rates of emigration among young people and de-populating rural communities. "This de-population has a knock-on effect in terms of spending and investment and a serious decline in services in our rural communities.

"In Lough Egish County Monaghan, a place which is little more than a crossroads has approximately 15 factories, some employing in excess of 100 people. This rural cross-roads has more industry than the entire county town of Enniskillen. This is a stark contrast.

'This county has been starved of investment under the stewardship of Arlene Foster, the former First Minister, DUP leader, and former minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, which was responsible for Invest NI.

"Small and medium businesses are really struggling and Invest NI should be proactive in supporting them.

"We need to see increased investment in rural areas so that our families and young people can continue to live in our community and be provided with work to do so. This will strengthen our rural communities and allow them to thrive rather than continue to be decimated." - Ends/Críoch