Irish prime minister Enda Kenny, who launched a €100m expansion of Irish Distillers Midleton plant in Cork on Friday, has declared that Ireland will reclaim dominance in world whiskey markets.

"I remember reading as a child that in the pre-prohibition days in the States, Irish whiskey was the big one. So let the battle begin again with Scotch -- for my part I'll do what I can," said Kenny, according to the Irish Independent.

"The fight-back starts right here today," he added.

Kenny said that the success of products like Jameson serve as an inspiration to Ireland.

The plant's expansion will create 60 new jobs.

The Taoiseach was presented with a bottle of Midleton 1992 and promised not to open it "until Ireland recovers our economic independence."

Meanwhile, another 142 new jobs were announced in the fish processing industry on Friday. A €15.5m investment by 21 seafood plants, based in Wexford, Dublin, Cork, Donegal, Galway, Louth and Kerry, will be supported by grants of €3.2m under an EU scheme.

Also the company Technopath announced that it was to invest €3m in developing products that monitor the quality of hospital laboratory blood tests. The development will result in 40 new jobs in its quality control division at Ballina, Co Tipperary.

Toaiseach (Prime Minister) Enda KennyHibernia Times