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Boann Distillery brings old craft back to Drogheda

Pat and Marie Cooney with their sons Peter, Patrick and James and daughter Sally-Anne pictured in the Boyne Brewhouse and Boann distillery.

The Boann Distillery and Visitor Centre, a state-of -the-art distillery soon to open in the heart of the Boyne Valley, will create over 80 new jobs as part of its ambitious plans to become one of Ireland’s leading independent distilleries and craft brewery initiatives.

The project is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Enterprise Ireland.

Opening in 2016, the stunning €20m Drogheda based facility will include a whiskey distillery, craft brewery and taproom, an architecturally designed visitor centre which will host distillery and brewery tours, a 120 seater restaurant, whiskey bar, private event space, and a gift shop.

The Boann Distillery and Boyne Brewhouse are the realisation of a long held ambition of the Cooney family who have a long tradition in the Irish drinks industry.

Speaking at the launch, Pat Cooney, CEO of the Boann Distillery and Visitor Centre, said: “I’ve been in the drinks industry for the past 40 years and it has been a nagging ambition to establish a Distillery of my own. To be able to realise this ambition, with the encouragement and participation of my wife and family, is a great bonus and to be able to establish this project in this super building in my home town is a multiple bonus.

"To add to the attraction of the location, we are also putting in a Craft Brewery. Marrying these two Pillars of the Industry with Cream Liqueur and Cider allows us to tick all the boxes of the drinks industry. The business will have a strong export focus without neglecting the domestic market.”

Drogheda was once home to eighteen local distilleries, which slowly declined to just one by 1822. This last distillery was owned by James Woolsey, later taken over by the Preston Brothers, it quickly grew to become one of Ireland’s principal Irish whiskey producers. However taxes, civil war and Prohibition took their toll and in 1968 the distillery closed and the last barrels of whiskey left Drogheda— a rich piece of local heritage was lost forever.

Today a revival has begun and Irish whiskey is now quickly becoming the fastest growing spirit in the world. In late 2015, spirit will flow from the Boann Distillery copper pot stills, the first to flow in Drogheda in nearly 50 years.

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