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“We’re not willing to give up” say Kilkenny publicans of Diageo decision to close Smithwick’s Experience

Others too say it needs to be saved

Diageo has made a crucial error in closing the Smithwick’s Experience and we’re going to convince them to reverse the decision.

That’s according to the Chairman of Kilkenny City and County Vintner Federation of Ireland (VFI) who’s part of a group of local publicans due to meet the drinks company this Thursday.

A petition set up appealing the closure ruling has generated more than 1,600 signatures (more on that here).

Anthony Morrisson is among those set to meet with Diageo representatives and says people should get behind the petition, telling KCLR Live that he’s ready to spend the week “Trying to convince Diageo that they’ve made a crucial error in their announcements, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do, as a citizen in Kilkenny and a publican and a business owner I’m asking everyone that’s listening to get behind this petition, this is essential that the people in Dublin, in Europe and across the world realise that we’re not willing to give up”.

He adds “There is a fight on our hands to retain the Smithwick’s Experience going forward opened and operating and we have a very concise plan to provide to Diageo to explain to them that it can be done”.

Martin Costello’s a member of Kilkenny Chamber & runs Murphy Jewellers on High Street.

He’s been explaining to KCLR News why he signed the petition, saying “Like everyone else in Kilkenny I’m very disappointed really with Diageo’s short-sightedness, obviously no-one has had a good year, year and a half, but to pull the plug on the Smithwick’s Experience so soon is really, really, really disappointing, I just don’t understand it”.

He adds “I think everyone in Kilkenny, anyone who’s been to the Smithwick’s Experience should be signing it, I know I a few years ago brought my parents-in-law to the Guinness Storehouse and we visited Smithwick’s Experience a few days later and I can tell you the difference is enormous, the Smithwick’s Experience is ten times better”.

While former Chamber President and Manager at MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre Marion Acreman says “I feel very strongly about keeping the Smithwick’s Experience in the city, it’s a hugely popular attraction, it was absolutely top class, exceptional staff as well, I mean we know the tour guides were amazing and the management staff they are just top-notch so now is the time to save it before those people are gone as well, I really hope it is saved I mean it’s all part of what Kilkenny has to offer as a tourism perspective, it’s very, very important to our heritage as well”.