The IDA has pulled their 17-hectare business and technology park lands in Cavan Town off the market, The Anglo-Celt can reveal.
The u-turn comes after mounting pressure on the authority to maintain a larger presence in the county. Local TDs and Cavan Council had also written to the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton to put further pressure on the closure of the site on the Dublin Road, Killygarry.
The Anglo-Celt now understands the IDA have informed Minister Bruton they have withdrawn the offer for sale of the lands, which comes with planning permission granted for an multi-million euro Advance Technology Unit development.
The Anglo-Celt had in recent weeks reported that Cavan County Council was seeking representations with senior officials at the IDA, exploring all options including a possible purchase of the site. They had hoped to keep it in public ownership and open to future potential industrial development.
The IDA spent in the region of Ä1.3 million over the past decade in developing the park, and spent a further Ä7,000 a year in upkeep costs, yet only one business - Procut tools - is currently located there. The IDA announced it was to sell its Dublin Road site last August, saying at the time they would focus on Dundalk as a gateway town for new foreign direct investment, with Cavan acting as a hub of that.
The IDA also said it intends to retain its office in Cavan, staffed with one 'equivalent full-time resource', who, with the support of colleagues would engage with clients interested in assessing the county.
However, such a plan was derided locally, with many people, including elected officials and business interest groups, saying that it showed that the authority was merely "washing its hands" and "turning its back" on the county.
Fine Gael Deputy, Joe O'Reilly welcomed the u-turn from selling the lands, saying "I am delighted with the news that the IDA have decided to withdraw their intention to sell the lands at Killgarry and to enter into discussions with Cavan County Council as to how to best utilise these lands. It is a good news story for Cavan Town and the surrounding area."
Deputy Reilly also paid particular tribute to County Manager, Jack Keyes, and the council staff for all their hard work in pushing the issue, both with the IDA and the Minister.