Despite serious lobbying, Derry loses out to Kerry…

Added Note: Interesting that the company seems to have made up its mind back in March. Despite that both FMand DFM were enlisted in what looks like a desparate rearguard action [after the battle was lost? – Ed]. See also this Derry Journal on SF hopes for a phase 2 switch.

Update 2: Thanks to Jthree for today’s report in the kerryman, which raises questions about the value of the proposition (the deal, it seems, involved the IDA lobbying potential investors on behalf of the private sector company). So, erm, it was not just the corpo tax after all.

Original article starts here….

I remember an old rhyme that must have been dated from before partition (when I imagine people were a lot less sensitised that we are today) that went “Londonderry, Cork and Kerry, how do you spell it?” The answer from the smug questioner is ‘I-T’.

That was also in the day when in a real sense the whole island was a single economic market place. It still meant that the north possessed the prime industry of the island, but there were none of the cunning little blocks that the Republic has erected in its own self interest to negotiate.

You cannot fault the Sinn Fein reps for working hard to try and bring the Global Pharmaceutical Centre of Excellence to the City of Culture, but in the end, according to the Centre’s CEO Rory Doyle “unfortunately at this stage, economics won out.”

Big Pharma is one of Ireland’s (north and south) big private sector successes. The 300 jobs in this case are to be transferred from their current base in Lyon in France. The reasons for the decision are disputed, but it’s probable that the Republic’s low corporation tax has played a role.

But it might also raise questions about the performance rate of Invest NI, particularly when set against that of IDA Ireland who have been assiduously courting the US market (where Global Research Services are based) for at least a generation.

When it comes down to it, the reality of political partition (and representative politics – Martina’s loss is Martin’s gain) it means that in some respects at least north and south are in fierce competition for the few investment opportunities available.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty