Private bus operator Go-Ahead Ireland is recruiting 425 staff as part of an €8.5m investment in Ireland.

Go Ahead was awarded a contract to run 24 of the existing Outer Dublin Metropolitan Area bus routes by last year.

The company is taking on up to 350 bus drivers as well as engineers, operational and administrative staff.

Go-Ahead Ireland is based in Harcourt Street in the city centre, but will shortly move to a purpose-built bus depot in Ballymount, Dublin 12, where its workforce and fleet will be located.

Ed Wills, Managing Director of Go-Ahead Ireland, said the company has been building its Dublin operation in preparation for a phased rollout commencing September 2018. 

"Creating these new 425 jobs and providing a financially secure and investment ready business is critical for our colleagues, our customers and our ambitious expansion plans," Mr Wills said. 

The Go-Ahead Group is based in the UK and employs 27,000 people. It reported a total revenue of £3,451m last year and operating profit of £150.6m. 

The National Rail and Bus Union, who represents some Dublin Bus drivers, is not pleased the transfer of routes to Go Ahead. Dermot O'Leary, General Secretary with the NBRU, described the privatisation of bus routes a scandal.

It operates in the UK, Germany and Singapore. 

The 24 routes that Go-Ahead Ireland will operate are:

17 Rialto to Blackrock

17a Blanchardstown Centre to Kilbarrack

18 Palmerstown(Old Lucan Road)to Sandymount

33a Swords to Balbriggan

33b Swords to Portrane

45a Dún Laoghaire (Rail Station)to Ballywaltrim

59 Dún Laoghaire to Mackintosh Park

63 Dún Laoghaire to Kilternan

75 The Square Tallaght to Dún Laoghaire

76 Chapelizod to Tallaght (The Square)

76a Blanchardstown Centre to Tallaght (The Square)

102 Sutton station to Dublin Airport

04 Clontarf Road (Conquer Hill) to Santry (Shanard Road)

111 Loughlinstown Park to Dún Laoghaire

114 Ticknock to Blackrock Station

161 Dundrum Luas Station to Rockbrook

184 Bray Rail station to Newtownmountkennedy

185 Bray Railstation to Shop River (Enniskerry)

220 Ballymun (Shangan Road) to Lady's Well Road

236 Blanchardstown Centre to Damastown

238 Tyrrelstown to Lady's Well Road

239 Blanchardstown Centre to Liffey Valley Shopping Centre

270 Blanchardstown Centre to Dunboyne

New Route - 175 Citywest to UCD