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WATCH: Limerick remains 'to the core' of engineering firm as new jobs announced

THE managing director of Kirby Group, which has announced 300 new jobs in Raheen, says Limerick remains “at the core of our business”.

Mark Flanagan has hailed the support the engineering firm has received particularly from the Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) in designing its courses with the industry in mind.

He said the skills graduates pick up are “so exportable” and “a key part of our success not only in Ireland, but in the UK and across Europe.”

“​It’s very important. It’s the foundation of our business. We will never forget the work we have in the Limerick region and we will always support our clients in Limerick. Limerick has been core to our business over a number of years,” he said.

An Taoiseach Micheál Martin was at the Raheen business park to announce the firm’s expansion which will bring its staff numbers in Limerick to 1,600​.​

As part of the recruitment drive, Kirby – which was founded in Thomondgate in 1964 – is looking to attract almost 100 people to be deployed across its apprenticeship scheme and graduate programme.

Mr Flanagan said they are looking for people with capabilities in electrical and mechanical engineering in particular.​

“We’ve had exponential growth in the last three years and I have to say, we are very fortunate, that a lot of the work we do was deemed critical during Covid-19 and that we demonstrated we could deliver for key clients, highly technical projects across Europe. With that, these businesses continue to give us work, and we have managed to expand,” he said.

Among Kirby Group’s client base are Analog Devices, Regeneron and Edwards Lifesciences.

As part of the jobs announcement last week, Kirby also announced a €2m plan to upgrade its headquarters in Raheen.

“I think this will allow us to access the new people joining us and also people currently working for us. The world has changed and since Covid-19, we have a situation where offices are going to be more open, spacious. We’ve asked our colleagues what kind of working environment do they want. We’ve fed back into that, and also we might be looking at three-day weeks, two days from home, so there is a better work-life balance,” Mr Flanagan explained.

Mr Martin said the expansion represents “another great milestone” for Kirby, Limerick and the wider region.

“We want Ireland to be a great location, and a competitive location, to start and scale businesses just like this. Kirby’s expansion is testament to the skills and talent this country has to offer,” he added.

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