22 May 2022

Diageo to make follow-up presentation to Kilkenny Vintners' following petition handover

Diageo to make follow-up presentation to Kilkenny Vintners following petition handover

The ceremonial petition handover at the Smithwick's Experience Building last Friday

Diageo officials have agreed to make a presentation to members of the Kilkenny Vintners’ Association later this week further outlining their position on the future of the Smithwick’s Experience.

This latest development follows last Friday’s ceremonial petition handover on behalf of the Smithwick’s Action Group to Diageo outside the Smithwick’s Experience Building on Parliament Street.

The handover was conducted on the day by Chairman of Kilkenny Vinters’ Association, Anthony Morrison.

Speaking that day, it was clear that Morrisson’s voice was tapered with resolve.

“Nearly 7,000 signatures have been printed off and are here in my hand,” he told those in attendance.

“This is a recognition of the will of the people of Kilkenny and of the greater South East region and what this means to them.”

Reports that Diageo have acknowledged the actions of the Smithwick’s Action Group serves as encouraging vindication moving forward.

As the cold rain bounced off the rain jackets of the picketers under slate grey skies last Friday, it was hard to picture brightness on the horizon — and it still is — but at the very least, with this new approach, a shard of light can be gleamed.

“Diageo are now in active engagement and we are now working to be in a position that we can get a resolution that will work for all parties,” Morrisson told the Kilkenny People.

“Where we were six weeks ago and where we will be in six weeks time will be two different places from an engagement point of view.

“This doesn’t mean that the Experience will reopen and I definitely don’t want to build hopes up that the Experience will reopen but further dialogue is always welcome.

“It’s important to note that Diageo have acknowledged the petition and I’m in the process of sending a hard copy to them as we speak.

“Local voices have now been noted, our local news media have backed us and national news have picked up our story from there.

“Where there’s a will there’s a way and I hope that we will be able to see that will on all sides at the next presentation.”

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