US healthcare company Abbott Laboratories has announced plans to create 1,000 jobs as part of of a €440m investment here.

The company intends investing the money in a new greenfield manufacturing plant in Kilkenny and generate further employment in Donegal by expanding its facility there.

Abbott already employs 5,000 people in Ireland and has operations here for more than 75 years.

As well as Donegal and the planned new plant for Kilkenny, it also has operations in Clonmel, Cootehill, Dublin, Longford, Sligo and Galway

The new 250,000 square foot manufacturing facility, which will be located on the IDA Business and Technology Park in Loughboy, Kilkenny is subject to planning permission.

The company said it will give it the capacity to substantially increase production of its FreeStyle Libre technology for people with diabetes.

The investment by Abbott is supported by IDA Ireland.

"Abbott has had a presence in Ireland for more than 75 years, and we're proud to bring even more highly-skilled jobs to local communities," the company said today.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that Abbott has a long and successful history, first establishing operations in Ireland in 1946, and this new investment is a great vote of confidence in the workforce here, and in this country as a place to invest.

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar said news of the investment is a real vote of confidence in Kilkenny and Donegal and what those counties have to offer.

"These 1,000 new jobs are a huge boost and really speak to the strength of Abbott's 5,000 existing staff here. We never take this investment for granted," he added.

IDA Ireland Executive Director Mary Buckley said that Abbott has had a longstanding presence in Ireland spanning over 75 years during which the company has made a substantial and valued contribution to regional economies.

"This significant and transformative investment in a new greenfield manufacturing facility in Kilkenny is fantastic news for the South East Region and for Ireland. It is also most welcome and demonstrates continued commitment to its Donegal site that it will benefit from further investment and new jobs as part of this investment and jobs announcement," she stated.