Call for greater investment in border areas

The costs involved in finding a premises or offices is proving a challenge for local start-ups.

The Government has been called on to support the opening of more enterprise centres in the border region.

Speaking in the Dáil, TD Brendan Smith said finding workspaces can prove a “huge cost” for start-up businesses, often proving a challenge.

He praised work carried out since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in developing an “all-Ireland economy” which has seen greater cross border cooperation between businesses, Councils and other bodies.

The Fianna Fáil TD said local Councils and enterprise offices are working with the northern counterparts on proposals to increase investment into border counties.

“Cavan and Monaghan county councils and local enterprise offices, along with their colleagues north of the Border, are putting together proposals with regard to the need for funding on a cross-Border basis to develop enterprise centres. I hope that can happen because economically, we are the most vulnerable part of the Border region and we need new industrial infrastructure.”

Responding, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said despite the cooperation between the Irish and British Governments in the Good Friday Agreement and the years since, it has not continued.

“The whole basis of the Good Friday Agreement and peace process was on both Governments working together, underpinned with working with all the political parties in the North. The current British Government has digressed from that in spirit it seems to me.”

He called on the UK Government to engage to allow both to work “lock stock together” in bringing investment and greater cooperation to the region.