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Taoiseach marks €100m Jameson investment with distillery visit
Pictured: Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD, visited the Irish Distillers’ distillery in Midleton, Co Cork today, to mark the €100m investment at the facility by Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard.
The company, which announced the expansion at the end of last year, said it was responding to the continued growth of Jameson worldwide. In the year to June 2011, 3.4 million cases of Jameson were sold. The company said the distillery is now operating at full capacity and an expansion is necessary to cater for future forecasted growth.
The Taoiseach’s visit also marked the 20th anniversary of the Jameson Experience, the Jameson visitor centre in Midleton, which has been visited by more than two million visitors since it first opened in 1992.
As part of the investment, 60 manufacturing and technical jobs will be created, 30 in the Midleton Distillery, and a further 30 in the Fox and Geese bottling plant in Dublin, bringing the company’s total employee numbers in Ireland to 560. Separately, up to 250 jobs will result from the construction process.
A further €100m is being spent developing a new satellite maturation facility at Dungourney, Co. Cork.
“This investment by Irish Distillers is the result of an exceptional performance by Jameson in the world-wide marketplace,” said the Taoiseach. “Today marks a significant day in the future of Irish whiskey production, and the entire food and drinks export industry, as well as for the local economy here in Cork, which has greatly benefited from the presence of both the Distillery and the Jameson Experience Visitors Centre.
“By taking advantage of a supportive and stable economic environment Irish brands can continue to increase exports worldwide.”
Meanwhile, speaking ahead of today’s Whisky Live in Dublin, Michael Foggarty, spokesperson for the event, highlighted the exceptional performance of Irish whiskey globally, with sales of the spirit recently surpassing Scotch single malt sales for the first time. Global Irish whiskey sales exceeded five million cases last year.
Foggarty quoted a recent report, which indicated that Irish whiskey is the fastest growing whiskey category in the world.
Exports of the spirit have increased by 60pc over the past three years and, in the last six months, three of the world’s leading drinks companies have pledged multi million euro investments in their Irish whiskey brands, one of these being the Irish Distillers €100m announcement. Elsewhere, in March, Beam Inc acquired Cooley Distillery, the last remaining Irish-owned distillery, for €95m. In the same month, William Grant & Sons announced a €35m investment in Tullamore Dew that will bring whiskey production back to Tullamore for the first time since the original distillery closed in 1954.