A new €25 million whiskey distillery backed by Italian and Irish investors was officially opened in Royal Oak, Carlow on Tuesday.
Walsh Whiskey Distillery, which has capacity to produce up to 8 million bottles of whiskey annually, is 50 per cent owned by Illva Saronno, which owns the Tia Maria brand.
Other investors include founders and local Carlow couple Bernard and Rosemary Walsh, as well as Pat Rigney, the founder of Boru vodka.
The new distillery, which began production at Easter, has created 55 jobs and is aiming to attract up to 75,000 visitors each year to tour its facilities.
Walsh Whiskey currently produces two brands of whiskey, The Irishman and Writer’s Tears, which it says are distributed in 40 countries globally.
Production of the brands will now shift to the new distillery, although it will be 2019 before the first whiskey produced at the new site becomes available.
Walsh Whiskey is now targeting further growth in Asia, particularly China and India.