Nearly 230 jobs have been announced by companies in Cork, Connemara and Athlone.

The positions are to be created at two pharmaceutical firms and a communications company.

Rossport has confirmed it is creating 138 jobs at a new production site in the Connemara Gaeltacht.

The company, which produces and distributes electronic cigarettes, is opening a new €5m plant at Corr na Móna.

Rossport says recruitment is already under way for graduate roles in quality assurance, production, marketing and regulatory control.

Separately, Zevas Communications has announced 50 new jobs for Cork.

The customer contact services company already employs 200 people at its Monahan Road site outside the city centre.

It will be recruiting for positions in telesales, IT and quality assurance.

Elsewhere, 40 jobs are to be created by multinational pharmaceutical company Alexion at the former Elan plant site at Athlone in Co Roscommon.

It comes after Alexion purchased two buildings on the site from Alkermes.

Meanwhile, Alkermes is to invest about €20m in the Athlone site over three years to enhance the R&D and manufacturing facility.

It says its investment has been supported by the recent sale of the buildings to Alexion.

In July last year, Alexion announced plans to expand its global presence with the opening of a new office and laboratory facility in Dublin in conjunction with its decision to establish a global supply chain facility in Ireland.

The acquisition of the facility in Athlone is part of the plan to establish global supply chain operations in Ireland.

Kenny opens biomedical science building

Elsewhere, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has opened NUI Galway's €30m biomedical science building, which will bring together 300 scientists and researchers.

The collaborative approach aims to build on the university's role at the heart of Galway's vibrant medtech sector.

The city is seen as being one of five global hubs in a market worth €95bn annually in the EU.