Jobs boost from Dublin Airport and healthcare recruitment firm TTM Group
Hundreds of jobs are being created in expansions by Dublin Airport and a leading healthcare recruitment company.
In the first jobs announcement, the TTM Group - which recruits health staff and runs its owns facilities for disabled people and home care - is to take on 500 staff after securing a 30 million euro (£23 million) investment.
Elsewhere, the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) revealed it handled a record 25 million people last year and it plans to hire 180 new security, customer service and asset management staff to meet the increasing demand for air travel.
It is also reviving plans for a third runway as passenger numbers soared by 3.3 million last year, a growth of 15%.
Aviation chiefs claim it will be an "essential enabler for the Irish economy for many decades to come".
A second parallel runway has been on the table since the 1970s when local land was secured - and while planners gave it the go ahead in 2007, the project was put on hold when the recession hit.
Dublin Airport is currently allowed 48 flight movements in the peak hour, but is running at near capacity and it is expected to make an application to the next government for the massive development.
Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe said: "I would see this as more being a huge opportunity that a future government will have the privilege of being able to grasp."
The DAA expects growth to continue as 11 new scheduled services have been announced for 2016 - including transatlantic flights to Hartford Connecticut, Los Angeles, Newark and Vancouver, and charters to Cancun in Mexico and Montego Bay in Jamaica.
Kevin Toland, DAA chief executive, said: "We are constantly investing in the airfield and the passenger facilities to allow our customers to operate as efficiently as possible, and to provide a quality travel experience to the travelling public."
The finance for the TTM expansion came from Irish private investment company Broadlake, which is taking a 30% stake in the business.
TTM is recognised as one of Europe's leading specialist recruiters of healthcare staff, has 1,200 employees and is behind the hiring of one in five NHS workers from overseas.
Headquartered in Ennis, Co Clare, it has offices in Dublin, Cork, the UK, Germany and Poland - as well as a large network of international partners across Europe, Africa and Asia.
Most of the new jobs will be based at the HQ and the company is aiming to triple revenues and double the workforce in the next five years through growth, enhancement of healthcare services and extending its international reach.
Chief executive Brian Crowley said: "TTM has grown rapidly in recent years and this investment will help the company to reach new heights in terms of both expanding the team and our service offering to clients.
"We can see huge opportunities for our business to scale over the next five years.
"The World Health Organisation has indicated that demographic changes in most Western European countries are leading to an older population with more complex medical needs, while at the same time fewer young people are choosing healthcare careers."
Meanwhile, the DAA said it had hired 170 staff last year.
Twenty-two new routes were added at the airport and extra capacity on 39 existing services with l ong-haul traffic up 19% and short-haul up by 15%.
The authority also noted that more than one million passengers transferred or transited through Dublin Airport last year, a new record, as it becomes an increasingly significant hub for transatlantic transfers.