Dublin last year accounted for 41% of IDA sponsored visits by potential overseas investors.

New figures provided by acting Minister for Business, Heather Humphreys show that last year a total of 700 IDA site visits around the country were carried out by potential overseas Foreign Direct Investors.

The figures show that the trend of Dublin having by far the largest share continued at 41% or 284 visits.

The next highest number of visits was recorded in Cork which accounted for 68 or 9.8% visits.

Limerick recorded the third highest amount at 57 or 8.1% and was followed by Galway at 46 or 6.6%.

The figures show that Leitrim recorded the lowest amount of FDI visits at two for the year or 0.3% of the overall total. 

Other counties to recorded five or less include Longford, Mayo and Roscommon (3), Meath and Monaghan (4) and Kerry and Laois (5).

Asked to comment on the figures, a spokeswoman for the IDA stated: "There has never been more people employed in the multinational sector in Ireland than there are today - 245,096."

She stated: "Site visits are not indicative of IDA's efforts to market a region to overseas investors or indeed of IDA’s activities in a region, which includes working with the existing base of companies to sustain and increase their levels of investment."
 
In her written Dail response to Fianna fail’s Robert Troy (TD) on the matter, Minister Humphreys stated: "IDA Ireland's performance in 2019 represented a record year of growth under the agency's strategy for the 2015-2019 period. 

"By the end of last year, total employment in the agency's client companies stood at over 245,000 people. Every region in Ireland has seen foreign direct investment-driven employment gains. There are now over 138,000 people employed across 724 firms in IDA client companies located outside of Dublin, which represents 57% of all IDA client-supported jobs. 

She said, "I am determined, together with the IDA, to see this trend continue and we will be doing everything possible in 2020 to encourage more firms to invest further in the regions.

"When it comes to foreign direct investment, FDI, site visits do represent a valuable tool through which investors can be encouraged to invest in regional areas. However, as I have said before, site visit activity does not necessarily reflect investment potential, as a significant percentage of all new FDI comes from existing IDA client companies."