Sunday 17 December 2017

Taoiseach wages war on Scotch as 60 jobs are created

Ralph Riegel and Grainne Cunningham

BRAVEHEART Enda Kenny yesterday declared war on Scotland -- or, more specifically, its whisky industry.

Mr Kenny, an unlikely figurehead in a dispute about alcohol, gave a brief history lesson yesterday before outlining how Ireland can reclaim dominance in world whiskey markets.

"I remember reading as a child that in the pre-prohibition days in the States, Irish whiskey was the big one. So let the battle begin again with Scotch -- for my part I'll do what I can," Mr Kenny said.

"The fight-back starts right here today," Mr Kenny added.

The Taoiseach was getting patriotic as he launched a €100m expansion of Irish Distillers Midleton plant in Cork, which will create 60 new jobs.

He said the sales success of products like Jameson should serve as an inspiration to what Ireland can achieve on world markets.

Mr Kenny said he was partial to "a drop of the auld crathur" but it is equally obvious he can go long spells without it.

He was presented with a bottle of Midleton 1992 yesterday but promised he would not open it "until Ireland recovers our economic independence".


Meanwhile, another 142 new jobs were announced in the fish processing industry yesterday.

A €15.5m investment by 21 seafood processors around the country will be supported by grants of €3.2m under an EU scheme.

The plants, based in Wexford, Dublin, Cork, Donegal, Galway, Louth and Kerry, aim to increase sales of "added value" seafood by almost €44m over the next three years.

Marine Minister Simon Coveney said the investments demonstrated confidence in the sector.

Also yesterday, Technopath announced that it was to invest €3m in developing products that monitor the quality of hospital laboratory blood tests, resulting in 40 new jobs in its quality control division at Ballina, Co Tipperary.

The company is to expand its quality control division, which manufactures products for a number of multinational in-vitro diagnostic companies.

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton described the announcement as great news for Tipperary and for the indigenous life sciences sector in Ireland.

Technopath co-founder, Malcolm Bell, added: "Technopath's breakthrough technology is the culmination of a five-year programme of research and development and a €6m investment.

Irish Independent

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