Bank of Ireland to feature Old Bushmills Distillery on new Northern Ireland note issue

Bank of Ireland Northern Ireland today announced plans to feature one of Northern Ireland’s most successful export businesses – the Old Bushmills Distillery building – on a new issue of its banknotes.

New-look notes will begin to be circulated in April, coinciding with the 400th anniversary of the licence to distil whiskey that was granted to the area around Bushmills in 1608.

The reverse of the new series of £5, £10 and £20 notes will feature an image of the iconic distillery which is the main employer in north coast village of Bushmills and a tourist attraction in its own right, hosting over 120,000 visitors last year.

Stephen Kirkpatrick, Chief Executive of Bank of Ireland Northern Ireland, said: “The Old Bushmills Distillery represents both the history and the future of Northern Ireland business. It is a long established company which is currently expanding production under the ownership of Diageo plc.

“Because Bank of Ireland is one of the leading business banks in this region, we felt our new notes should feature a business that is symbolic both of our heritage and of our skill in crafting products for a global market.”

Gordon Donoghue, Managing Director of Old Bushmills Distillery, said: “Appearing on the bank’s new notes is especially pleasing for all of us at the distillery because we are celebrating such an important anniversary in our long history.

“It was in April 1608 that King James I granted a licence to distil whiskey to the territory then called ‘the Rowte’ in Co. Antrim. Even then, distilling was a tradition in the area and today we are proud to be Ireland’s oldest working distillery and to be recognised by Bank of Ireland as an icon of Northern Ireland.”


Anne Mathews, Media Relations Manager, Group Corporate Communications
Ph. 00 353 1 604 3836 or 00 353 87 246 0358

Notes to editors

bout the banknotes

The design of the new notes will be unveiled prior to their coming into circulation during April and May. The existing notes, which came into circulation in 1990 and feature an image of Queen’s University, Belfast on the reverse, will gradually be withdrawn but will continue to circulate alongside the new issue until that is completed.

Under the Bankers (Northern Ireland) Acts 1845 and 1928 and the Bank Notes (Scotland) Act 1845, certain commercial banks are permitted to issue their own banknotes in Northern Ireland and Scotland, respectively. In both Scotland and Northern Ireland, locally issued notes circulate alongside Bank of England notes.

About Bank of Ireland UK Financial Services
Bank of Ireland UK Financial Services (UKFS) combines the sterling denominated businesses within the Bank of Ireland Group incorporating Business Banking, Personal Lending and Consumer Financial Services representing joint ventures with the UK Post Office. The Bank of Ireland in Northern Ireland, part of Business Banking, is a leading player in both personal financial services and in corporate and business banking.

Bank of Ireland UKFS operates its businesses out of London, Belfast, Bristol and Reading with a workforce of approximately 3,500 staff. The division generates in excess of £300m profits before tax, similar to companies listed in the FTSE top 70, with annual growth over 15% achieved. UKFS manages over £40bn of quality customer loans and about £15bn customer deposits with strong growth demonstrated within each book. Customer numbers acquired within the Post Office relationship have exceeded 1 million in three years and continue to grow strongly.

About Bank of Ireland Northern Ireland
Bank of Ireland Northern Ireland has 44 branches, eight business centres and employs 1,300 staff.

Bank of Ireland Business & Corporate Banking NI is committed to understanding and meeting the needs of businesses in a range of markets including specialised niches such as property investment and development, healthcare and the hotel sector, as well as serving the banking requirements of high-growth SMEs. Working in tandem with customers to make a real contribution to their corporate development, Bank of Ireland uses a range of specialist banking advisers with relevant sector experience.

Bank of Ireland is one of Europe’s top performing financial services companies. Established in 1783, it today has 17,000 staff and more than 300 branches throughout the UK and Ireland.

Old Bushmills Distillery
Diageo invested £200m in the acquisition of the Old Bushmills Distillery in 2005 . Through an ambitious investment programme, over £6 million has been invested in the infrastructure at the distillery to date, to facilitate growth and meet anticipated future demand. The company employs 120 people at the distillery in all areas through distilling, blending, maturation and bottling.

Diageo Northern Ireland
Diageo directly employs 500 staff in Northern Ireland and has a significant collective economic footprint across 4 sites: Baileys Global Supply – the £40 million state-of-art facility at Mallusk, the Old Bushmills Distillery, Guinness’s canning and bottling plant at Castlereagh and Diageo’s sales and marketing division at Boucher Road Belfast.

Diageo is the world’s leading premium drinks business. With its global vision, and local marketing focus, Diageo brings to consumers an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across the spirits, wine and beer categories including Smirnoff, Guinness, Johnnie Walker, Baileys, J&B, Cuervo, Captain Morgan and Tanqueray, and Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards wines. Diageo trades in some 180 markets around the world and is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people, brands and performance, visit us at