Founded 1987

Cooley Distillery was founded in 1987 by Irishman Dr John Teeling. He took over an old Industry Alcohol Plant in Riverstown, near Dundalk, Co. Louth, which was built in the 1940s.

Teeling acquired the Brands of Locke's, Kilbeggan, and Tyrconnell, and started distilling in 1989. In 1992, however, the company experienced serious cash flow problems and was looking for fresh money.

Picture used with kind permission of Cooley Distillery, plc.

Irish Distillers Group could not ignore the 44,000 casks of Cooley Whiskey maturing in the old Warehouses of the Kilbeggan and Tullamore Distilleries, and offered 22 Million Pounds to buy the company. The Irish Government ultimately prevented the takeover by IDG which would most certainly have meant the end of Cooley Distillery.

After the failed takeover, Cooley found financial backers in France, Germany, and the United States who also ensured distribution of Cooley's Brands in these Markets.

Since 1995, Cooley has revived a couple of famous brands, such as Inishowen, Cassidy's, Locke's, and Kilbeggan, as well as introduced successful new brands, such as Connemara.

Also, Cooley went after the own-label and supermarket brands, and stands behind Irish Whiskeys in Dunnes Stores, Marks & Spencer, Intermarche, O'Neill's Pubs, and O'Briens and Oddbins Off-Licenses.