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“It’s essential that this experience is always there” says Kilkenny VFI head as publicans meet with Diageo

The virtual gathering began just after 11am

Kilkenny publicans meeting with Diageo over its decision to close the Smithwick’s Experience.

A zoom meeting between local vintners and the drinks giant has been underway the past couple of hours.

They’re calling on it to overturn its plans to permanently shut the doors on the city’s second most popular attraction.

Heading into those talks earlier Kilkenny VFI Chair Anthony Morrison said “I’ve a very positive mindset, it’s not all that complicated, Diageo gave a commitment that there would be a permanent recognition of the efforts of the employees when they closed the brewery site in 2011 and this latest closure clearly reneges on that promise and we’re duty-bound as our objective to tell them, Diageo, that they need to reverse this decision and it’s as simple as that”.

Close to 5,000 people have signed a petition calling for it to be saved and Mr Morrison says such support isn’t a shock, noting “No, I’m not surprised, this is Kilkenny Incorporated in all veins, this is history, legacy, this is time in the making, if there’s such a term, there’s kids going to be born and there’s people going to die and we all have our part to play, it’s essential that this experience is always there for the past, the present and the future”.