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Gift firm has 250 new jobs for Christmas

A novelty gift manufacturer is to create 250 seasonal jobs for the run-up to Christmas.

Dundalk-based National Pen has started recruiting and hopes to make some of the positions permanent over the coming months.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton welcomed the news, saying he was confident the manufacturing industry would continue to grow.

"The Government's Action Plan for Jobs makes it clear that the manufacturing sector will continue to make a crucial contribution to this economy and to help us achieve this, I have brought together a team of industry experts to develop a plan aimed at creating a further 20,000 extra jobs in this sector," he said.

The expansion, supported by Government agency IDA Ireland, will see the firm move into a new facility in Dundalk over the next few weeks, which is triple the size of its current plant.

National Pen, which has its European headquarters in the Co Louth town, makes personalised gifts, marketing and promotional material, including personalised and branded stationery, lighters and mugs.


The Dundalk branch has been running since 1987 and services 19 countries around the world. The company already employs 255 permanent staff -- a workforce which has grown by about 70 in the last three years.

National Pen Europe senior vice-president Peter Kelly said when its doors first opened, it only supplied Germany with one product and design.

"Now, with over 25 years under our belt in Dundalk, the National Pen story has a long way to run yet," said Mr Kelly.

IDA Ireland paid tribute to National Pen, describing the jobs boost as excellent news.

"National Pen has demonstrated an ability to service international markets in the consumer goods sector from Ireland.

"The company is a great case study in showing us all how Ireland can compete in the traditional business sector of manufacturing."

Louth TD Gerald Nash said the company's decision to expand represented a vote of confidence in the county.

PayPal and Coca-Cola announced investment plans in Dundalk and neighbouring Drogheda earlier this year.