Guild Xmas event

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The Guild’s Christmas event took place on Thursday, 7th December and was kindly hosted by the team at Pearse Lyons Distillery. Our intimate group were treated to a unique tour of Dublin’s newest boutique Irish Whiskey distillery which opened this past summer. Housed in the former St. James Church, which originates back to 1190, our personal story-teller and guide, Barry, shared with us ghostly tales from the Church’s graveyard, the surprise family connections for Pearse Lyons along with his wife Deirdre’s dedication to restoring St. James’ Church back to its former glory.

We absorbed a wealth of knowledge thanks to Barry about the graveyard. The headstones shed light on the trades that The Liberties housed in the past. Tradesmen and women who worked as coopers, distillers, linen merchants, shoemakers, bakers, bishops and soldiers have all found a resting place at St. James’ Graveyard.

Inside the church the history is depicted through Irish artisan stained glass windows. The illustrations depicted on the windows include: the pilgrimage to the Camino de Santiago, also known as “St. James’ Way”; how Irish Whiskey is made; the art of coopering; and the natural ingredients grown for uisce beatha.

Pearse Irish Whiskey has a small team of distillers onsite but the most notable members of that team are the two Vendome copper pot stills that now rest after their pilgrimage from Kentucky. Nestled in the sanctuary of St. James Church are two fine ladies, Mighty Mollie and Little Lizzie, who were carefully placed inside the church via a crane, through the roof!

We not only saw the distilling team in action but were treated to a tasting of the distillery’s Whiskey collection. It was fantastic to witness first-hand the continuation, and indeed the renaissance, of distilling Irish Whiskey back in Dublin’s Liberties, also known as the “Golden Triangle”.

Following our tour and tasting we adjourned to the cosy environs of The Bull & Castle on Lord Edward Street to toast 2017, absent friends and to hail in the year ahead in 2018. Please see a selection of images taken on the night.

As Chair, may I take this opportunity to wish all our members at the Guild of Irish Agricultural Journalists a very happy Christmas and I look forward to seeing you all again soon in 2018.