Pharmacy chain Boots Ireland is to open three new shops around the country over the next couple of months.

The new stores will open in Carrigaline in Co Cork and in Glenageary and Blackrock in Dublin and will result in the creation of 26 jobs.

The company also said today that will also relocate its store in the Ilac Shopping Centre in Dublin to a larger unit within the shopping centre.

Boots Ireland has 74 stores around the country and employs just over 2,000 employees.

Meanwhile, Mandate members in Boots Ireland have balloted in favour of a 4% pay increase at the company.

The Mandate members in Boots will receive the equivalent of 2% back dated to June 2013 with a further 2% due in June.

The union said the move is relevant and timely on the day that the Irish Congress of Trade Unions hosts a major conference in the Mansion House about a new course for better times in Ireland.