Anyone who has ever read my blogs, rantings and ravings online, will know for sure I am half Irish, my ma’s family of Daly (Daley) came from Co Kilkenny, Rep of Ireland. I do happen to mention this both in our whisky blogs and the mcleanscotland blogs. So with that in mind, here we go …

Daly’s Distillery was an Irish whiskey distillery which operated in Cork City, Ireland from around 1820 to 1869. In 1867, the distillery was purchased by the Cork Distilleries Company (CDC), in an amalgamation of five cork distilleries. Two years later, in 1869, as the smallest CDC distillery, Daly’s Distillery sadly ceased operations. In the years that followed its closure, some of the buildings became part of Shaw’s Flour Mill, and Murphy’s Brewery (far better than Guinness by the way), with others continuing to be used as warehouses by Cork Distilleries Company for several years, information is difficult to come by, their existence is mentioned in Alfred Barnard’s 1887 account of the distilleries of the United Kingdom. UK? Unsure why he thought that, Ireland was in a state at that time. That’s another long story – dinnae drink Black & tan’s, ever.

Delving back a few years; the firm of James Daly & Co. was established in 1798, as a rectifying distillery and wine merchants at a premises on Blarney St, Cork. In 1820, this was relocated to 32 John Street. As some sources state that the John Distillery was established in 1807, and it is known that a William Lyons ran a distillery on John Street in the early 1800s, it is possible that Daly purchased an existing distillery on John Street? In 1822, James Daly’s nephew John Murray joined the partnership. In 1828, the distillery is reported to have an output of 87,874 gallons of spirit. However, in 1833, output of only 39,000 gallons per annum, at that time Murphy’s Distillery in nearby Midleton, had an output of over 400,000 gallons per annum. On James Daly’s death, in 1850, the partnership, which at that point had consisted of James Daly, Maurice Murray (John Murray’s son) and George Waters, was dissolved, with Maurice Murray taking sole ownership of the distillery, which continued to trade as James Daly & Co.

In 1853, Murray rebuilt and extended the distillery, into neighbouring streets. By the late 1860s, the distillery had grown to occupy 3 acres; a brewhouse, distillery and maltings on John Street; granaries on Leitrim Street; and eight bonded warehouses across John Street, Leitrim Street and Watercourse Road.  In 1867 Daly’s Distillery was absorbed into Cork Distilleries Company (CDC), in an amalgamation of five Cork distilleries. Maurice Murray is known to have continued to work for the CDC at the North Mall Distillery, along with his son Daly Murray. In 1823, excise regulations were significantly reformed, leading to renewed investment in distilling. One of the new investors was Michael Molloy, who in 1829, established a new distillery on the site of Joseph Flanagan’s previous operation on Bridge Street, which had operated from at least 1784 to the early 1800s. At the time, Molloy’s family, well known merchants in the town, also ran a grocery and wine merchants business on Bridge Street. In the 1830s, Molloy expanded the distilling operation, purchasing an adjoining mill on Patrick Street, and by 1832, the distillery had an output of over 20,000 gallons per annum.

In 1886, the distillery was visited by Alfred Barnard, a British historian who remarked that it had been significantly modernised and expanded by Daly since he had inherited it, with the standard of whiskey produced there being similar to that produced by the noted Dublin houses of the time. The whiskey he noted, was “Old Pot Still” and “sold all over Ireland but principally in Dublin, whilst a large quantity goes to Liverpool, London, and Australia”. Barnard reserved particular praise for some of the eight-year old whiskey which he tasted on his visit. At the time, the distillery had a workforce of one-hundred, an output of 270,000 gallons per annum and held over 900,000 gallons of whiskey maturing in bond. Barnard remarked that at the time the Daly’s owned a large estate in Terenure near Dublin, where Daly spent most of his time, with running of the distillery being superintended by his son (Captain Bernard Daly), his nephew B. Mara, and his son-in law Charles Comyn (Scottish name here), but under the general management of Daniel E. Williams. Recognise those initials?

When Bernard Daly himself died in the 1887 shortly after Barnard’s visit, the distillery passed to his son Captain Bernard Daly. Daly did not concern himself much with the running of the distillery, leaving this to the distillery’s General Manager Daniel E. Williams. Those initials again folks!  Under Williams, the distillery expanded, and prospered, launching the whiskey which still bears his initials, Tullamore Dew, under the slogan “Give every man his Dew”. In 1903, the distillery was incorporated under the name B Daly & Co. Ltd., with both Captain Daly and the Williams family having shares in the company. However, in 1931, the Dalys left the business and the distillery came under complete control of the Williams family. So the questions begs here; if I can trace those Daly men to my ma’s family, does it mean I am owed a share in Tullamore Dew?  What do you know PJ?  By the way, who now owns Tullamore Dew? Aye, William Grant and Sons (Glenfiddich)! Do I get a part of that also?

ALFRED BARNARD whisky distilleries of the United Kingdom, centenary edition. Lochar Publishing, Edinburgh1987. Page 387 is all about Tullamore Dew “quaffing Daly’s whiskey”. Originally Tullamore was called Kilbride, Alf writes three exhaustive pages on this, a great source for me.