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Food group Kerry announces 900 new Irish jobs

DUBLIN, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Irish food company Kerry Group

is to hire 900 new workers in a food technology centre in Ireland, one of the biggest jobs announcements by a single company in the country since its economic crisis began four years ago.

The new 100 million euro ($130 million) centre will employ 800 people when it begins operations in 2015 before expanding to 900, Kerry chief executive Stan McCarthy told a briefing in Dublin on Tuesday.

The export-focused food sector is one of the brightest spots in Ireland's struggling economy.

The country's unemployment rate at just under 15 percent is the third highest in the European Union.

($1 = 0.7711 euros)

(Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by Mark Potter)

((conor.humphries@thomsonreuters.com)(+353 1 500 1518)(Reuters Messaging: conor.humphries.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: IRELAND KERRY/