I want to welcome the news that 140 jobs are to be created in Shannon, Co Clare, by the end of the year and 160 by 2014. These jobs are coming about as a joint venture between US company Zagg and a local Clare firm in Shannon. The company has moved into a 30,000sq.ft facility in the Shannon Industrial Estate from where it will serve its customers in Europe, Asia and Africa.

These jobs are at the cutting edge of new technologies and represent a vote of confidence in the region. It should be acknowledged that the availability of the 12.5% corporate tax rate was a definite factor in the ability of Ireland to secure these jobs. This underlines the need to protect our rate of tax in Ireland in the face of some different views from some of our EU partners. Ireland needs to stand firm on this.

I also believe that the creation of these jobs is acknowledgement that the Mid-West and County Clare in particular has a well-educated, and flexible workforce. We also have a long standing track record in attracting foreign direct investment and working with international companies looking to locate here. I want to congratulate all government agencies involved in this news today. I also want us to ensure we get the message out there that companies such as Zagg see County Clare as a place very much open for business and attractive to locate to.

Part of my role as TD from the region will be to communicate effectively and clearly over the coming weeks and months the strengths and positives of the region.