Diageo Receives Approval to Build a €200 Million Brewery in County Kildare

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Diageo, the world’s largest beverage company, has received approval from AN BORD PLEANÁLA to build a €200 million brewery in Newbridge, County Kildare.

The new brewery for Littleconnell, which received planning clearance today from the appeals board, is expected to significantly increase employment in the Kildare region by creating up to 1,000 jobs during the project’s 20-month building phase and a further 70 jobs after it opens for business.

The new plant will brew lagers and ales, such as Rockshore, Harp, Hop House 13, Smithwick’s, Kilkenny, and Carlsberg, and it will be operational for 365 days a year.

Diageo said in a statement today that it plans to start building on the project “in early 2024.”

According to a Diageo representative, Diageo is pleased that An Bord Pleanála approved planning for Ireland’s first purpose-built, carbon-neutral brewery, located in Kildare.

“Diageo’s €200 million investment in Ireland will help our beer brands grow while achieving our goals of being net zero by 2030,” the spokesperson stated.

“This project has significant benefits, and we anticipate starting work in early 2024.”

Planning permission for the project was granted by Kildare County Council back in March, but the brewery plan was put on hold when John Callaghan, the man at the center of RTÉ’s investigation into claims of payoffs to objectors in the planning system, appealed the decision through his Sustainability 2050 entity. John Lynch from Athy, County Kildare also filed a separate appeal with the appeals board.
On November 23, Callaghan dropped his appeal. Last week, he reaffirmed that no money was requested or given in exchange for the withdrawal of his appeal.

Callaghan stated in an interview that he never met with Diageo or anyone on their behalf on the Sustainability 2050 appeal related to the brewing development.
As previously stated, “we have not had contact of any kind with the individuals behind Sustainability 2050 either directly or indirectly,” a Diageo representative said this last week.

The John Lynch appeal kept the appeal “live.”

Due to the backlog of cases it is currently handling, An Bord Pleanála has twice postponed making a decision about the appeal.

Diageo issued a warning in September, saying that more delays would “jeopardize the rationale for this €200 million investment in Ireland” and that the project is time-sensitive.

East of a Lidl Distribution Center, in the IDA Newbridge Business and Technology Park, sits a 21.36-hectare plot of land where the brewery will be constructed.

The brand-new brewery will use the most recent process technologies to reduce overall energy and water use, and it will run entirely on renewable energy.

St. James’s Gate will be able to enhance Guinness production to satisfy demand worldwide as the lager and ale manufacturing is moved to the new plant.

Lynch of Cloney, Athy, claimed in his appeal that, for environmental reasons, the Littleconnell project should be scrapped and developed in Athy instead.

Lynch expressed his desire to strongly object to the proposed brewery at Littleconnell on behalf of all the world’s grandchildren and unborn children in the wombs of expectant mothers in the first line of his first objection filed with the Council.

Lynch declared that Athy “would win out by miles from a financial point of view” if there was ever a competition in this nation for a future brewery site of this magnitude.