Quintessential to spend €4m developing premium Irish liqueurs

UK drinks group unveils ambitious plans for First Ireland subsidiary

UK drinks distributor Quintessential Brands is to invest €4 million in its First Ireland subsidiary, which makes a range of Irish cream liqueurs to rival Diageo-owned Baileys.

The investment, coming almost a year after Quintessential acquired First Ireland, will more than double the output at the Abbeyleix plant to around two million cases or over 24 million bottles a year. It will also create 20 additional jobs.

First Ireland owns brands like O’Mara’s Irish country cream, Feeney’s Irish cream liqueur and Dubliner Irish whiskey, and sells into 35 markets worldwide.

Quintessential, which owns London Dry Gin, bought First Ireland last year for an undisclosed sum, giving a strong foothold in the growing market for private-labelled Irish cream liqueurs.


Announcing the investment, Quintessential said it would also consider additional acquisition opportunities in Ireland in the future as they arise.

"This investment is part of our ongoing strategy to develop Abbeyleix as the home of Irish Cream, boost our production capabilities, build a premium Irish brand portfolio and expand our contract manufacturing business in Ireland," Quintessential co-founder and Director Warren Scott said.

Anna-Marie Delaney, director of services at Laois County Council, which facilitated the expansion plan, said: "We are delighted to support Quintessential Brands' investment in Abbeyleix and welcome their ambitions for the business and for the town with the creation of new jobs and opportunities for County Laois."

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times