Save Tullig from West Cork Distillers

Press Release: Community calls on West Cork Distillers to drop controversial development

By Calvin Jones on August 25, 2021

The press release below went out to Cork based and national print and broadcast media outlets earlier today.

24/08/2021, Tullig and Reenascreena: For immediate release

C. 600 words

A small rural community in West Cork is calling on flagship local enterprise, West Cork Distillers, to drop plans for a huge industrial warehousing complex in the heart of the West Cork countryside.

No to West Cork Distillers Whiskey Maturation Warehouses in West Cork
Members of Tullig and Reenascreena Community Group meet opposite the proposed entrance to the West Cork Distillers site

Residents of Tullig and Reenascreena were left reeling last month when they learned of the rapidly growing distillery’s plans to locate a 16 warehouse maturation facility on an unzoned greenfield site in the townland of Tullig. Covering a total floor area of 24,280 square metres, and capable of storing over 240,000 casks of maturing spirit, the colossal development would, they claim, irrevocably alter the landscape and undermine the fabric of their rural community.

“It’s a completely inappropriate development for the location,” said local resident Calvin Jones, whose house sits on a sharp bend along the route articulated HGVs would take to and from the proposed site. “There are so many reasons a development like this just doesn’t belong here: the unsuitability of the local road network, the unquestionable visual impact, the impact on local wildlife and biodiversity, the inappropriate change in land use, not to mention the short, medium and long-term impact on the local community.“

Despite learning of the planning application late in proceedings, the community galvanised quickly to oppose the development. An online petition denouncing the plans attracted over 900 signatures in just two weeks, and 121 residents from the small rural community signed a comprehensive group submission to Cork County Council objecting to the proposal.

The community has set up a website to support their campaign at, along with associated social media profiles (@SaveTullig) to make information about the development more accessible to people across West Cork, Ireland and further afield.

“We’re fighting this development because of the direct threat to our local community and rural way of life,” said Calvin, “but it’s an issue that runs much deeper than that. If this gets the go ahead, it sets a dangerous precedent. The inappropriate sequestration of low-cost agricultural land for industrial development is something that has serious implications for rural communities not just in West Cork, but across Ireland.”

West Cork Distillers wants to destroy this site at Tullig, Reenascreena
Outline of the proposed site (shaded red) looking west over Tullig.

From humble roots in the fishing village of Union Hall in 2003, West Cork distillers has grown to become the largest wholly Irish owned distillery in the country. Riding the wave of the burgeoning Irish whiskey export market, it is a company that has always put its West Cork heritage at the core of its identity and branding.

That is one reason residents of Tullig and Reenascreena were so shocked when they found out about the planning application.

“People were genuinely surprised,” said Calvin. “West Cork Distillers has this image as a company that’s proud of its West Cork heritage, with a deep-seated respect for the region’s landscape, people and community. This proposal appears to fly in the face of everything they’ve built their business around.”

Tullig and Reenascreena Community Group is hopeful Cork County Council will turn down the planning application, but residents are ready and willing to take things as far as they need to.

“The community of Tullig and Reenascreena is a talented and resourceful group. We’re prepared to fight this as far as necessary, but we really shouldn’t have to,” said Calvin. “We don’t think running roughshod over West Cork’s landscape, people and community sits comfortably alongside the image and branding West Cork Distillers has cultivated. So we’re calling on the company to be true to its West Cork heritage and values, drop this inappropriate planning application and build their industrial warehousing complex in a more suitable, industrially zoned location.”

The original press release and high-resolution images to accompany it are available to view/download here

Article written by Calvin Jones
Calvin Jones is an author, freelance writer and naturalist who lives just down the road from the proposed development, in the adjacent townland of Clounkeen East. He is the founder of Ireland's Wildlife.

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