Heineken to close historic Beamish & Crawford brewery


Ireland's oldest brewery is to close with the loss of around 120 jobs. Heineken Ireland this evening announced that it intends closing Beamish & Crawford in Cork city and relocating its operations to the multi-national's nearby Lady's Well brewery.

The company said that the closure will result in the loss of approximately 120 jobs, while a further 40 will transfer from Beamish & Crawford to Lady's Well, where Heineken produces its lager brand and Murphy's stout.

Netherlands-based Heineken recently took over Beamish & Crawford's parent, Scottish & Newcastle, following which it said it would review both its operations in Cork city.

Heineken Ireland managing director, Gerrit van Loo, said today that the decision was the most difficult taken by the company since it took over the Murphy Brewery facility in 1983.

Reacting to the news, local Siptu official, Bill Mulcahy, who represents many of the Beamish & Crawford workers, said he was disappointed that after weeks of talks with Heineken on getting agreement on a redundancy deal that it did not contact the union with the news.

He added that Siptu would seek the best deal possible for workers, including getting as many as possible redeployed to Heineken.

Beamish & Crawford is located on South Main Street in Cork city centre and is the oldest operating brewery in Ireland. It began trading there in the 1690s.

As Heineken, Guinness owner Diageo and Scottish & Newcastle were the three biggest players in the Republic's beer market, the Competition Authority, which polices company take overs and mergers, had to approve the deal.

It gave the go-ahead early last month following a six-month review. The sale was part of a 10 billion euro carve up of Scottish & Newcastle by Heineken and its Danish rival, Carlsberg.