Irish Distillers is a subsidiary of the French drinks conglomerate Pernod-Ricard S.A.. It is the largest distiller of Irish Whiskey, with popular brands such as Jameson, Paddy and Powers. In addition to whiskey, it distills a number of other spirit products such as gin and vodka.
Irish Distillers Group was formed in 1966, when a merger took place between Irish whiskey distillers John Power & Son, John Jameson & Son and the Cork Distillery Company. In an attempt to reverse the decline in Irish whiskey sales, the board of directors decided to close the existing distilleries in Cork and Dublin, and to consolidate production at a new purpose-built facility. A site alongside the existing distillery in Midleton, Co. Cork was chosen as the location for the new distillery, as there was no room for expansion in Dublin.
In 1972, Bushmills, the only other whiskey distillery in Ireland at the time, joined the group. This gave Irish Distillers control over all whiskey production on the island of Ireland. In July 1975 production ceased at the Old Midleton Distillery and began in the morning at the new Midleton complex. The old distillery has since reopened as a visitors' centre. Following an early unsolicited takeover offer by GrandMet, Allied-Lyons and Guinness, Irish distillers was taken over by Pernod Ricard in June 1988, in a friendly takeover.