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Issue 57 - Irish guys still smiling

Whisky Magazine Issue 57
July 2006

 

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Irish guys still smiling

Ireland's only independent distillery has had a rollercoaster time since it was established at the end of the '80s. Now it's time to deliver,its chairman tells Dominic Roskrow

It's time to change the record. Time to take off New Kid In Town by The Eagles and replace it with James Brown's It's A Man's Man's Man's World. Or, and let's not be too cynical about this, Abba's Money, Money, Money. Time to grow up, stop looking for excuses and come of age.

I hope Cooley chairman and founder John Teeling will forgive this somewhat clumsy summary of our 90 minute meeting, but in a nutshell, that's it.

“We talk about ourselves as the new kids on the block but next year Cooley will be 18 years old,” he says in the Dublin offices from which he runs a drilling and mining business as well as a distilling one.

“We're coming of age and it's time we delivered a bit. We have found it hard in some areas of the business, have made mistakes and at times faced very dark days. But we're still here and we need to look at our business and where it's going.” If these words make it sound like Teeling feels that Cooley is slacking and needs to pull itself together, then the impression is wrong.

Spend any time with Cooley's staff and you're impressed by the energy and enthusiasm within the business.

Indeed the company thrives on the fact that it is a rebellious independent, that it has faced up to a giant of a rival and it has survived everything thrown at it. If it has yet to achieve the heights hoped of it, it's because of circumstances beyond its control.

And Teeling's call to arms is a timely one.

For Cooley finds itself not only in great shape, but well-prep...

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