Master cooper John Neilly shows An Taoiseach Enda Kenny how to assemble a cask as Shane Hoyne, global brand director of Tullamore D.E.W. watches on at the local preview evening of the new visitor centre which was officially opened on Thursday. Picture: Jeff Harvey/HR Photo

New Tullamore Dew Visitor Centre opens its doors

The doors of the new Tullamore Dew Visitor Centre were officially opened yesterday (Thursday) afternoon by Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring and William Grant and Sons CEO Stella David. The official event came one day after a special preview evening where locals - including the Williams and Jaffray families - had the privilege of being the first to see the newly refurbished visitor attraction that aims to attract up to 40,000 visitors annually. The same preview event also attracted brief visits from former Taoiseach Brian Cowen, current Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Senator Martin McAleese and Mícheál " Muircheartaigh. The new visitor attraction at Bury Quay in Tullamore is the culmination of eight months of work. The project employed approximately 68 people during its construction phase, and up to twelve people will be employed at the visitor centre. Speaking at Wednesday night's preview Tullamore Dew Global Brand Director Shane Hoyne said the company is also optimistic that construction on the new Tullamore Dew distillery in Tullamore will begin in the coming months. Visitors to the new centre, which will open from 9.30am until 6pm Monday to Saturday and from 11.30am to 5pm on Sundays and bank holidays, will be taken on an immersive tour that brings the stories of Irish whiskey, the distilling process and Tullamore Dew to life. Speaking at the opening Minister Ring said the new visitor centre is a welcome boost for the midlands and represents a real vote of confidence in Ireland by brand owner William Grant and Sons. "Irish whiskey is an export phenomenon at the moment and today's investment gives the growing number of cultural tourists and Irish whiskey aficionados alike around the world a true home with which to engage with the Tullamore Dew story," he said, wishing the entire team connected to the centre every success in the future. Ms David added that this is an extremely exciting time for Tullamore Dew, with the opening of the new visitor centre and plans to construct a new distillery close to coming to fruition. "We invest to grow our brands for the long-term and bringing the story of Tullamore Dew to life like this strengthens and deepens the relationship between the brand and its fans in a very real way," she said. "All great brands need a home, a base from which they can grow and tell their story to the world," William Grant and Sons' Group Marketing Director Maurice Doyle added. "Tullamore Dew now has that and it is highly appropriately it should be rooted in its native town. This is Tullamore Dew returning to its spiritual home and we look forward to it being a focal point for our fans and friends as well as our brand teams and business partners for many years to come.