Belfast Telegraph

Belfast businessman teams up with U2's Bono for new Whiskey distillery

Application: Paddy McKillen
Application: Paddy McKillen

By Ronald Quinlan

Businessman Paddy McKillen's plan to create a new Irish whiskey distillery in the Republic has suffered a minor setback.

The Belfast-born developer is behind the bid based around the site of the Ballykelly Mill in Monasterevin, Co Kildare,

But planning officials at Kildare County Council have returned proposals for the project to Mr McKillen's company, Jewelfield Ltd, having deemed its application to be invalid.

Council officials took issue with the failure of the proposal's site notice to mention the 'Natura Impact Statement' included by the developer as part of his application.

Mr McKillen's plan for the distillery and visitor centre is expected to see an initial outlay of €50m (£45m), and is being supported with an investment by the Belfast-born businessman's close friend of many years, U2 frontman, Bono.

Should the project secure approval, it will see the development of a distillery, tasting room, visitor centre and event spaces on the site of Ballykelly Mill.

Commenting on the plan, Mr McKillen said recently: "We're restoring a beautiful 200-year-old mill and reviving Monasterevin's rich heritage in producing the finest whiskey going right back to the 18th century.

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"We have assembled an amazing team of world-leading experts and we will produce a world-class product.

"We're investing €50m into this initial phase, which is the start of a long-term strategy.

"It fits very well with our existing hospitality businesses and the great global interest in Irish whiskey over the past number of years."

Belfast Telegraph