The holiday village is expected to open in summer 2019
Construction work is getting underway on the Center Parcs holiday village in Co Longford.
Leo Varadkar attended a sod turning ceremony at the site in Ballymahon.
The 400-acre development by the UK-based company is expected to cost €233 million, and the completed site will have space for up to 2,500 guests when it opens in summer 2019.
The facility will include as many as 470 lodges and 30 apartments, and more than 100 indoor and outdoor activities.
Speaking about the development, Leo Varadkar said: "The Government is very conscious that Longford has faced economic challenges, but the tide is turning.
"I want to pay tribute to Center Parcs for the way it has engaged with the local community in and around Ballymahon. I know a strong effort has been made to keep people informed on the project as it progressed and I look forward to regular updates on this exciting project in the future."
Martin Dalby, CEO of Center Parcs, added: "We have reached a key milestone as construction of Center Parcs Longford Forest begins in earnest.
"We have always said that this project would have a transformative effect on the Midlands and we are already seeing signs of the positive economic impact that Center Parcs will bring to the region."
Center Parcs suggests around 750 jobs will be created during construction, as well as up to 1,000 permanent jobs when the facility is completed.