Press Release 19 Sep 2016

  • Operations have grown from 13 employees in 1991 to more than 450 in 2016
  • Site manufacturing operations yield products that enhance sight and improve people’s lives

Cork, September 19, 2016Alcon, the global leader in eye care and a division of Novartis, is today celebrating 25 years at its plant in the IDA Business & Technology Park on Model Farm Road in Cork. Starting with just 13 employees in 1991, Alcon Ireland has transformed into Alcon’s European flagship manufacturing site for AcrySof® intraocular lenses (IOLs), which replace the eye’s natural lens during cataract surgery. Alcon’s AcrySof® IOLs are the most frequently implanted lenses worldwide, with more than 90 million implants1 since their introduction.

“This is a great day for the employees at Cork, who work hard every day to ensure patients and customers receive only the highest quality products,” said Jackie Murphy, General Manager. “The plant has managed through some difficult economic times over the years, but the dedication and professionalism of our associates has made Alcon Ireland a success story.”

The Cork facility was established in 1991 and acquired by Alcon in 2000 with the acquisition of Summit Technology Inc., a manufacturer of laser systems for corrective eye care. In recognition of site capabilities and its reputation for high-quality production output, Alcon commissioned the Cork facility to manufacture several key products within the AcrySof® IOL family, including AcrySof® IQ Toric to correct astigmatism at the time of cataract surgery, and AcrySof® IQ ReSTOR® products. 

In 2008, Alcon Ireland began its first phase of expansion when then Minister for Trade and Employment, Micheál Martin, officially opened an expansion of €15.6 million. He later announced a further investment of €21 million and the creation of 186 new jobs.  The Cork plant has continued its growth and expansion trend, backed by a further €30M endorsement, which has been approved since 2009.

Speaking of the event Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’ Connor said:  “It's a great tribute to the workers that this company has both survived and thrived through tough times to become the global leader in eye care that it is today. A company with over 400 employees in Cork contributes significantly directly and indirectly to the local economy.  Not alone is Alcon a major employer in Cork but what you do here is life changing for patients worldwide. I wish you continued success in the coming years."

CEO of IDA Ireland Martin Shanahan said: “It’s great to see a company of this stature, a global leader in eye care, marking its 25th anniversary here in Cork. Such longevity deserves to be celebrated; the benefit Alcon has brought to Cork and the South region in terms of job creation, going from 13 at the start to 450 now, and benefit to the local economy over that quarter of a century is considerable. I wish them every success in the future.”

The Alcon Ireland manufacturing plant operates 24 hours per day, 5 days per week, and employs more than 450 associates 16 nationalities, who support Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Quality, Procurement, IT, HR, Health and Safety and Finance. Tenure at the plant ranges from 2 months to 25 years.


About Alcon

Alcon is the global leader in eye care.  As a division of Novartis, we offer the broadest portfolio of products to enhance sight and improve people’s lives. Our products touch the lives of more than 260 million people each year living with conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, retinal diseases and refractive errors, and there are millions more who are waiting for solutions to meet their eye care needs. Our purpose is reimagining eye care, and we do this through innovative products, partnerships with eye care professionals and programs that enhance access to quality eye care.  Learn more at


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Media Contacts

Amy Leger
Director Communications
R&D, MTO & Quality
+1 817 946 7506

Ellen Lynch
Regional Communications, Press & PR Executive
IDA Ireland
0906 471529
087 4112084


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