DUNDALK received a major jobs boost with the announcement that National Pen, which have been in Dundalk for over 25 years, will create 200 new permanent positions by 2017.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny was joined by Social Protection Minister Joan Burton and Jobs Minister Richard Bruton for the annoucement which was made at National Pen's international HQ at the Xerox Technology Park on Friday.
The expansion is made with the support of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through IDA Ireland.
Mr. Kenny said: 'The creation of 200 new jobs at National Pen is fantastic news for Dundalk and the surrounding area and it demonstrates the company's commitment to Ireland.
'National Pen are a key export orientated company and announcements like this are a significant signal of Ireland's strengths as a location for investment - our people, our pro-business policies and our proximity to European markets.
'The government, through our Action Plan for Jobs, will continue to prioritise measures which will build on the 3,000 new jobs being created by the private sector every month.
The international headquarters of National Pen services 19 markets outside North America and Friday's announcement will bring the company's permanent workforce to 459 by the end of 2017.
The jobs will be created across the company in its sales, customer services, manufacturing, technical and administrative functions.
Minister Bruton said the National Pen news was 'a great boost for Ireland and the North East'.
Peter Kelly, Senior Vice President of National Pen said: 'We celebrated 25 years of business in Dundalk last year and moved to a new custom designed facility to accommodate the growth of our international business and the demand for our products.
'Ireland is a great location from which to service our global markets. We have enjoyed a very positive experience in Ireland over the years due to the pro-business environment, the availability of skilled staff and the support of IDA Ireland'.
The news was welcomed by Louth TD Peter Fitzpatrick who said: 'This is testament to the people of Louth's resilience in the face of adversity. We have a huge pool of talented workers who have already shown organisations such as PayPal and eBay the benefits of setting up operations in Louth'.
IDA boss Barry O'Leary said National Pen had been a long term client of theirs and had demostrated a stable track record over many years in Dundalk.