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Heineken to sell historic Beamish site

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Heinken Ireland has confirmed plans to sell the historic Beamish and Crawford site in Cork after the brewery closes in mid-May despite calls to develop the building as a tourist attraction.

The brewery which was due to close today is to remain open until mid-May for logistical purposes but most of the remaining staff there will be departing over the next few weeks, Heinken Ireland said this afternoon.

The company took over the country’s oldest brewery in December after it was given the go-ahead by the Competition Authority to take over Beamish and Crawford as part of a €10.5 billion international deal.

The closure has led to the loss of 120 jobs, while a further 40 will transfer from Beamish and Crawford to Lady’s Well, where Heineken produces lager and Murphy’s stout.

“The closing date of the plant was originally envisaged for March 31st but that has now been put out because there are still production-related activities continuing there and we now envisage a closing date, which is to be confirmed, close to the end of May, Heineken¿s corporate affairs manager Declan Farmer told The Irish Times.

“Once the plant closes it will enter into a decommissioning phase, and any marketing of the site will not take place until that phase has been completed which should take between 12 and 18 months,” he added.

Beamish Crawford is the oldest continuously operating brewery in Ireland. Brewing began there in 1690.

The main building on the site has a mock Tudor facade which is the subject of a preservation order by Cork City Council. However, heritage campaigners fear that much of the old brewery may be lost when Heineken sells the 4.5-acre site to a commercial developer.

The Conservation and Heritage Group has urged Heinken to consider turning the plant into a museum.

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Monday, September 25, 9:43 am

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