Whiskey distillery to create 55 jobs for Co Carlow
Walsh Whiskey announce €25m investment in distillery, warehouse and visitor centre
Brendan Walsh, who co-founded Walsh Whiskey Distillery with his wife Rosemary, on the site of the planned new distillery at Royal Oak in Co Carlow.
A family-owned whiskey business is to create 55 new jobs in Co Carlow over the next five years under a €25 million expansion scheme.
Walsh Whiskey Distillery, which produces The Irishman and Writers Tears brands, is to build a new craft distillery, maturation warehouse and visitor centre at Royal Oak on the River Barrow.
The investment is supported by funding from Italian drinks company Illva Saronno Holding, which will take a 50 per cent share in the business.
An additional 40 temporary jobs will be created during the construction phase, which is due to begin early next year and be completed by 2016.
Walsh Whiskey Distillery has been in business for 14 years. It currently produces 40,000 cases of whiskey a year, 95 per cent of which is exported.
Welcoming the announcement this morning, Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton said the project, which is supported by his department, was a “model example” of how a family-owned company could take an indigenous Irish product to global markets.
He said the Irish whiskey industry had been through a “period of relentless decline” since the “golden era” of the 19th century, when Ireland had more than 500 distilleries, but was now a “great growth story”.
“To build an international product from an Irish base you need to get a strong distribution chain which brings you into the big whiskey drinking markets like India and China, and that is what this alliance is about.”
The new distillery will have the capacity to produce 400,000 cases of whiskey per year, ten times Walsh’s current output. They hope the visitor centre will attract 75,000 “whiskey tourists” annually by 2021.
The company has experienced 300 per cent growth over the past five years, exporting products to 30 countries. Some 70 per cent of sales come from the US, Russia, Scandinavia, France and Germany.
The partnership with Illva Saronno will allow the company to expand its distribution networks to over 100 markets, including China and Korea where whiskey consumption is rapidly increasing.
Mr Bruton said the announcement was also a success story for the southeast, which his department has been particularly focusing on for job creation since the closure of TalkTalk in Waterford in 2011, with the loss of more than 400 jobs.
“There is a strong enterprise culture in the southeast and we will continue to focus on that, because even though we have seen jobs growth in the southeast, clearly we have a long way to go.”