Hurling legend reveals plans for Connemara whiskey distillery

Famous hurling legend Joe Connolly has revealed exciting plans to open a state-of-the-art Connemara whiskey distillery and heritage centre in the Connemara region.

Galway hurling legend Joe Connolly recently launched his plans to open a whiskey distillery and heritage centre in Connemara.

Joe Connolly is most famous for being a Galway hurler. He successfully captained the county to victory in the All Ireland Hurling Championship in 1980.

Experience running a whiskey distillery business runs in the family as Connolly’s grandparents were once renowned distillers of illegal spirits.  

Údarás na Gaeltachta is the state body responsible for the economic development of Irish-speaking areas in Ireland.

Údarás na Gaeltachta filed plans for the proposed distillery on behalf of Irish company Drioglann Iarthar na Gaillimhe Teoranta, which owns the Cnoc Buí trademark.

A multi-million-euro whiskey distillery – state of the art

Hurling legend reveals plans for Connemara whiskey distillery.

The plans that Joe Connolly revealed are for creating a multi-million-euro whiskey distillery and heritage centre. It will be called the Cnoc Buí Whiskey Distillery & Heritage Centre and will be located just outside Carna in County Galway.

The whiskey distillery and heritage centre will also be conveniently located along Ireland’s prosperous and famous Wild Atlantic Way in Connemara.

The plans describe a top-of-the-range distillery that offers a first-class visitor experience with bonded warehousing, a tasting bar, a bottling hall, a heritage centre, and a shop and café.

The Cnoc Buí facility – an important asset to the local community

Joe Connelly.
Credit: / HE GAA

The Connolly family told the Connacht Tribune that they viewed the Cnoc Buí facility as “an asset which will enrich the entire community”.

Connolly himself was also excited about the impact that the whiskey distillery and heritage centre could have. He said, “It will be a real game-changer for the area in regard to job creation.

“The site is superb in every way, from scenery to tradition. It’s a great place to make whiskey.” Cnoc Buí director Barry Connolly added that the distillery would increase tourism to the area. It will serve as a focal point for the local community.

“The building has been carefully designed to reflect the beauty of its surroundings because we want our distillery to be an attractive hub, with its Visitors’ Centre and Tasting Bar.

“It will provide employment, draw in tourists and add value to other businesses in the area,” Connolly explained to the Connacht Tribune.

Job creation – a boost to the local economy

Job creation at the connemara whiskey distillery.

The distillery will create more than 30 jobs in its first five years. Furthermore, the heritage centre hopes to attract up to 16,000 visitors in its first year. It’s expected to have 52,000 visitors per year after five years.

It was also predicted that the distillery itself would create an additional 130 jobs in the local area through the hospitality, accommodation, and leisure sectors, thanks to the expected increase in footfall to the region.

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