Hennessy: Ireland’s European spirit

When Richard Hennessy headed for Europe in the early 18th century, he set in train the creation of one of Europe’s greatest houses of spirits

9th April, 2017
Jean-Michel Cochet of Hennessy: ‘I cannot think of any other business like it’ Pic: Fergal Phillips

Ireland’s current European adventure began in earnest on New Year’s Day in 1973 when we, Britain and Denmark all joined the then European Economic Community. A forgotten truth, however, is that Ireland was European in outlook, politics and trade for many centuries before that moment.

Take the Hennessy family. Back in the early 18th century, the Hennessys of Cork were entirely typical of the well-heeled, if lesser-spotted, Irish gentry. Richard Hennessy was...

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