The Kerry Group announcement puts Ireland firmly at the forefront of global food innovation, said Labour TD Emmet Stagg.
Describing the announcement of 400 construction jobs and and eventual 900 permanent jobs as a vote of confidence in County Kildare, Dep. Stagg said it will bring significant career opportunities to people at a time when unemployment remains at “such a high level.”
Deputy Anthony Lawlor said the announcement would bring Naas to the heart of the global marketplace because the innovation centre will serve as a key focal point for Kerry Group’s customer engagement activities by providing strategic customers with access to the company’s technologies, research and applications.
Naas Mayor Willie Callaghan said the availability of Millennium Park and its road infrastructure along with fibre optic capability was an important factor in the decision to locate here.
“This is a dream come true and hopefully people from the Naas area will be will be employed both in the construction phase and
when the plant opens,” said Cllr. Callaghan.
Unsurprisingly both Kildare County Council and Naas Town council welcomed the news sand said the development plan prepared for for the area provided a framework for the development of Millennium Park.
Deputy Bernard Durkan highlighted the role that the agricultural/food sector would play in the recovery of the Irish economy.
“Ireland has always been noted for the quality of the food we produce and this underlines the absolute importance of the farming sector and related industries,” said Dep. Bernard Durkan.
North Kildare Chamber president Eilis Quinlan said the announcement would have a positive spin-off for businesses in Naas and elsewhere in County Kildare.
Both the Department of Agriculture, food and Marine as well as Enterprise Ireland were centrally involved in the decision said TD Martin Heydon.
He added: “I’ve no doubt it will lead to a significant boost in activity locally with a positive knock on effect on job creation.”
Taoiseach Enda Kenny said: “The decision by Kerry Group, with
the support of the Irish Government, to establish this ground breaking facility in Ireland will bolster our strong reputation as a globally renowned country for food production and innovation.”
Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said: “Today is a phenomenal announcement and is perhaps the most significant investment ever in the Irish agri-food industry. Not only is this an announcement of 800 high end jobs, but it is the proof that the agri-food sector can be central to rebuilding the Irish economy.”
- Paul O’Meara.