TAOISEACH Enda Kenny is in Cork today where he will face tough questions on jobs, Brexit and the future of the long-awaited Events Centre.
The Taoiseach will this evening address a major public meeting on Brexit in the Silversprings Clayton Hotel, as part of a series of meetings being organised by the Fine Gael Brexit Response Group.
Speaking in advance of the public meeting he warned that "the implications of Brexit will impact on all of us."
“I and my colleagues in Government have been intensively promoting Ireland's priorities and special circumstances with partner countries for many months now, and this vital work continues," Mr Kenny said.
“Our key priorities are clear and involve focusing on the economy and trade; the border and common travel area; Northern Ireland and the Peace Process; as well as the future of the European Union and Ireland's place in it.
“We will continue to adapt our policies to address new circumstances as they arise and this is your opportunity to have an input at a local level.”
Employment is set to dominate the Taoiseach's visit, as he today announced 100 new local jobs at US tech support company NGINX.
The company, which already has 100 employees worldwide and an office on the Monahan Road, has announced plans for rapid expansion in the Europe, Middle East and Asia (EMEA) areas with Cork as its regional headquarters.
Minister Simon Coveney welcomed the news, saying;
"We have seen continued growth in the IT sector in Cork with a hub of innovating and cutting edge companies choosing to locate here."
"The high skilled workforce and high-quality location makes Cork an ideal base for businesses.
"l'd like to wish NGINX the very best in their continued grown and expansion in Cork in the coming years," he added.
While the company is currently recruiting, the news has been somewhat soured by speculation that US pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly have put the brakes on a €200m expansion project in Cork over concerns around Donald Trump's latest plans around reforming the industry.
The operation, with offices in Little Island and Kinsale, employs over 500 people locally, with their proposed expansion set to create hundreds more.
The news that this may now be in jeopardy has been condemned by Labour TD Sean Sherlock who called on the Minister for Jobs, Mary Mitchell O'Connor, to take offensive action urgently to develop new markets and urgently.
"If the Trump administration is determined to pursue a protectionist line and the UK is following the same policy, then we must secure new investment.
"We cannot depend solely on the European market to sustain employment on the scale that the pharmaceutical clusters provide here."
Meanwhile, yesterday also marked a year to the day since Mr Kenny turned the sod on the Cork events centre development, though a lack of visible progress at the site to date has drawn considerable criticism from local residents and businesses alike.
The Taoiseach was expected to be questioned on the matter after Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin labelled last year's sod turning - during the general election campaign - a cynical stunt to get votes.