Bushmills makes debut on new banknote
Amid glitz and the glamour Bushmills Distillery was put on the world stage yesterday - by the Bank of Ireland.
In case anyone was unaware of the world famous Bushmills, the Bank of Ireland's Governor came to Belfast to honour his favourite whiskey.
From yesterday a new Bank of Ireland £5 note bears a picture of the famous distillery with new £10 and £20 notes to follow next month.
Yesterday — in scenes reminiscent of Hollywood — the Bank of Ireland unveiled its series of new notes with a blaze of publicity.
Huge outdoor screens beamed the launch onto the bank's HQ stopping hundreds of shoppers in their tracks.
The Bank of Ireland's governor Richard Burrows said it was a special moment for him as back in 1972 he spent four years as the managing director of Bushmills Distillery.
He said: "I spent some very happy years on the North coast of Antrim and today we are celebrating the 400th anniversary of Bushmills Distillery."
He added: "Ten years on from the Good Friday Agreement we've put the troubled times behind us and we are all seeing the economic regeneration that is taking place."
After a speech from Michael Ioakimides, managing director of Bushmills owners Diageo Ireland, the TV launch began.
From inside the Bank of Ireland's headquarters the Bank's governor and Bushmills' owner celebrated what they said was 'A Notable Moment.'
Mr Ioakimides said the moment marked 400 years of licensed whiskey making in the Bushmills area.
"But we never dreamed our whiskey would feature on the back of a Bank of Ireland bank note — a singular honour and a special recognition of our distillery and its 500 employees," he said.
The £5 note went into circulation yesterday with the new £10 and £20 notes joining as legal tender next month.
The Distillery's master blender Helen Mulholland and master distiller Colum Egan were on hand to reveal that Bushmills was well on target to making one million cases of whiskey a year by 2011. Already more than 40,000 cases of Bushmills are exported round the world.