Eli Lilly pushing ahead with €200m Kinsale plans

Hundreds of jobs set to be created in Cork...

Eli Lilly has confirmed it will proceed with its Kinsale expansion, which is set to create hundreds of jobs at the County Cork manufacturing site.

Plans for the €200 million development had been put on ice back in February, sparking fears that it was the first example of US multinationals getting cold feet when it came to foreign investment due to US President Donald Trump's 'America First' stance.

However, senior Irish management were informed in recent days that the pharma giant's global board has now given the green light for the project.

According to the Irish Independent, the company said in a brief statement that it was moving forward "with the next phase of capacity expansion at our Kinsale manufacturing site in Co Cork".

It added:

"This phase involves the construction of an additional production line at Kinsale and will increase the manufacturing capacity of the site's biologics campus."

Some 500 people are already employed at Eli Lilly's Kinsale site.

Its decision in February to postpone expansion plans pending a review resulted in Labour TD for Cork East Seán Sherlock accusing the Government of "sleep walking" since Trump's election and warning that the risk his protectionist policies posed to Irish foreign direct investment were "very real".

UCC economist Declan Jordan moved to allay such fears at the time, telling the Irish Examiner that Eli Lilly was merely exercising "prudence and caution first" and that "we are overplaying the risk".

According to IDA Ireland, over 50,000 people are employed in the pharma and life sciences in Ireland, with US companies being the biggest employers in the sector.

Ireland is currently the EU's biggest net exporter of pharmaceuticals and the seventh biggest in the world. The industry exports €64bn worth of goods, accounting for a little over half the value of all our goods exports.