Thursday 21 November 2019

Not as Irish as you think

Diageo has been criticised for part-funding what is an independent and voluntary campaign
Diageo has been criticised for part-funding what is an independent and voluntary campaign
Jameson is now French owned
HB Ice Cream is owned by Unilever
Siúcra has been in German hands for more than 25 years
Lyon's Tea is also a product of the Anglo-Dutch giant Unilever

GUINNESS: Our most popular drink may be as important a symbol of the country as the shamrock and the harp, but the brand is owned by the British-based conglomerate Diageo. Even when the holding company was Guinness it had its headquarters in London from 1932 onwards. Diageo also produces massive drinks brands like Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker and Baileys.

HB Ice cream

The brand is redolent of sunny days in Ireland, and was for decades produced at Hazelbrook Farm, Rathfarnham. It was founded by the Hughes Brothers in 1926, but it has not in fact been Irish-owned since 1964. The business was sold to American company WR Grace and was bought by the multi-national Unilever in 1973.

Lyons tea

Nothing is as Irish as relaxing with a mug of Lyons Tea, and the minstrels were part of our upbringing. It started as a family business near Christchurch Cathedral in the centre of Dublin in 1902, but is now packed in England by the Anglo-Dutch corporate giant, Unilever.


Our favourite sweetener started out as Irish Sugar in 1926, and was produced in factories across Ireland including Carlow and Mallow. But the brand was sold to German refiner Nordzucker in 1989, and is produced in several European countries including Germany and the UK.


The bestselling Irish whiskey brand was for many years distilled in Dublin, but is now produced in Cork. John Jameson, the founder in 1780, was a Scot, and the brand is now owned by the vast French drinks corporation, Pernod Ricard.

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