President of Kilkenny Chamber, Colin Ahern; Chair of Kilkenny County Council, Cllr Andrew McGuinness and Chair of Kilkenny Vintners, Anthony Morrisson
Crunch talks will take place between local vintners and Diageo on Thursday to save the Smithwick’s Experience.
Publicans will meet with representatives from the company and ask them to reverse the decision announced last month to permanently close the award-winning tourist attraction.
An online petition to save the much-loved tourist experience has gathered almost 3,000 signatures in recent days.
Chairman of Kilkenny City and County Vintners, Anthony Morrisson said that he hopes ‘to present to them a wealth of knowledge about Smithwick’s and its connectivity with Kilkenny, its history and heritage’.
Mr Morrison will also ‘remind them of the importance of their original promise to stay committed to Kilkenny, made back when they closed the Smithwick’s brewery’ in 2013.
There has been shock and disappointment at the recent annoucement with an outcry from the people of Kilkenny for Diageo to keep the facility open.
“It is imperative that Diageo run the facility as they have control of the Smithwick’s brand. It has to be opened and run under Diageo brand,” he said.
As for the viability of the operation Mr Morrison says that vintners as key stakeholders believe that Kilkenny is a huge part of the Smithwick’s brand and that the heritage and legacy of the brand should be preserved and celebrated in the Marble City.
“The brand is stronger in Kilkenny than anyone else because of our heritage and legacy. The Smithwick’s Experience has to stay,” he said.
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