New Whiskey distillery in Cushendall finally gets green light

Plans to develop a new Irish whiskey distillery in Cushendall have finally got the green light after more than three years in the planning process.

The application by The Glens of Antrim Distillery will see a new spirit-making facility and tourist visitor centre being built on Gortaclee Road in the town.

The proposal for the project was first launched by the McKillop family in 2020. More than three years on, planning officials at Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council have approved the application at a recent meeting of the council’s planning committee.

The McKillop family, best known for the Glens of Antrim potato and crisp operation in Cushendall, launched their own Lír Irish Whiskey brand in 2016. The company completed its first shipment to the United States in July 2023, exporting 7,000 bottles of its Lír Green Crest Irish whiskey into the American market. But the family ultimately plan to distil their own whiskey in Cushendall. They said the new distillery “will strengthen our ties with the local community and create numerous job opportunities in the area”.

The application for the distillery, first submitted in December 2020, has been in the planning process for some 38 months. After many months and many consultations, planning officials at the Causeway Coast and Glens council have finally recommended that the project should go ahead. Officials said the proposed development is considered acceptable at the location, with the principle of economic development established. “It is considered that there will be no unacceptable impacts on existing properties from noise, odour, overlooking, loss of light or overshadowing.  Approval is recommended.”