A craft and knitwear company has announced the creation of 150 jobs in Westport, Co Mayo.

Carraig Donn Ltd says it has been able to expand its operations due to the growth of its export markets and the development of its online retail sales.

The family-run craft business started in 1965, when the late Padraic and Maire Hughes and their 13 children began producing knitwear for the tourist market.

Now the company is a market leader in the field employing 300 people.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny described Carraig Donn as an outstanding example of an indigenous Irish family business which has become a major international success story.

He said it was particularly significant because it married traditional skills with the growing online market for Irish fashion and craftwear.

Director Vincent Hughes said the traditional market, which had shrunk in recent times, has begun to grow again especially in the US and there is a big demand for handmade craft and fashion wear.