The Wild Geese supports The Ireland Fund

December 6th 2014: Chairman of The American Ireland Fund, John Fitzpatrick, presenting a bottle of The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey Limited Edition to businessman and former Irish international soccer star, Niall Quinn. The presentation took place at the Ireland Fund of Great Britain Winter Ball in London’s Landmark Hotel, where Niall was an honouree. Addressing the large crowd, MC for the Winter Ball, Sky News’s Dermot Murnaghan, thanked Chairman of The Wild Geese Company, André Levy, for generously supporting this year’s event.

Niall Quinn Wild Geese (6.12.14)

Wild Geese Celebrate Irish Fortitude At Enterprise Awards

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As sponsors of The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey Enterprise Awards we celebrated Irish fortitude and the extraordinary hard work of entrepreneurs in Donegal who are forging their own paths in business.

Despite tough economic times, hundreds of independent business have been set up with the help of the Back To Work Enterprise Scheme, from the Donegal Local Development Company. At The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey Enterprise Awards we celebrated 12 of this unique businesses and awarded four entrepreneurs with prizes to help grow their companies.

Each candidate reminded us of Patrick Sarsfield and his followers, who left Ireland in 1691. They showed great courage and determination and worked hard to be successful abroad in their host communities. However, they kept Ireland in their hearts and took the name ‘The Wild Geese’ in the hope and belief that they would one day return home.

Today, honouring ambitious and hard working individuals continues The Wild Geese story which is now synonymous with Irish fortitude. All of the candidates continue to show the same great courage and determination displayed by The Wild Geese in 1691.

The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey Enterprise Award winners

Iain Miller – Unique Ascent Outdoor Adventure Company
Approved under the Back To Work Enterprise Allowance scheme in 2011, the last three years have been busy for Iain, a qualified mountain instructor. He has created ten part-time jobs and has plans to create up to twenty jobs, taking people to explore donegal’s most beautiful, remote and wild places. He has developed the ‘Donegal Climbing App’ and 17 online guides.

Iain thanked the DLDC and The Wild Geese for the recognition adding, ‘Without the support of the Back To Work Scheme I would never have been able to become self employed in the services I provide in this current climate. In the past year I have taken over 150 national and international to a shade over 100 summits’

To find out more about Unique Ascent visit http://www.uniqueascent.ie/

John Paul Boyle and Kevin Boyle – uPilot Teoranta: Flight Simulator 
Rural Donegal is not where you expect to find a company making flight simulators using cutting-edge technology, but that’s exactly what John Paul and Kevin are doing. At the moment they’re developing a Boeing 727-800 series simulator. They’ve won a six-month contract for a simulator at Dublin Airport, and hope that trial will secure a three year deal.

To find our more visit upilot.ie.

Diarmaid Whoriskey – Rathmore Mechanical Services
Diarmaid and his business partner TJ set up under the Back To Work scheme after being made redundant in 2009. They offer heating, plumbing, ventilation, air-conditioning and ironworks services and they’ve been busy, despite the recession, employing between six and twelve people. Diarmaid has secured major contracts throughout Ireland. Las month they secured their biggest contract so far.

Diarmaid said:
‘On behalf of Rathmore Mechanical Services Ltd we would like to thank The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey for sponsoring the enterprise awards 2014 in conjunction with Donegal Local development Company. It was an honour to receive both these awards which recognise small local businesses in the current climate’

Iain, John Paul, Kevin and Diarmaid will go through to the regional awards in Cavan in June and each received €500 to help grow their business.

But the calibre of each of the candidates was extremely high and to honour this we created a fourth award for Outstanding Achievement, presented to Diane Harvey from D’s School of Motoring and Training.

Diane set up her business under the Back To Work Enterprise Allowance Scheme in 2010 and offers a wide range of training for customers, from those preparing for the ‘Theory Test’ to those with disabilities such as brain injury and now the jeep and trailer lessons. She has a commitment to road safety and has helped organise a number of safety awareness events. For the past two years she has won the ‘National Road Safety Authority (NRA) Leading Lights Award’ for approved driving instructors.

*The products comprised in The Wild Geese Collection of Premium Spirits are sold under The Wild Geese Soldiers & Heroes in North America and worldwide under The Wild Geese

The Wild Geese Enterprise Awards: Winners Selected

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The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey Enterprise Awards Adjudication Committee: from left, Mark Murran and Mary McHugh, Department of Social Protection; Jim Slevin, chairperson of Donegal Local Development Company; Louise Brogan, DLDC enterprise co-ordinator; Mr Andre Levy, chairman of The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey company

Our Chairman, Mr Andre Levy, sat on the adjudication committee to select the winners of this year’s The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey Enterprise Awards, which celebrate entrepreneurs in the Donegal area who are forging their own paths in business.

Twelve businesses have been shortlisted for the awards which are for small enterprises set up under the Back To Work Enterprise Allowance Scheme run by Donegal Local Development Company (DLDC). Three winners will be presented with awards, £500 to help grow their businesses and will go through to the regional awards in Cavan in June.

On the adjudication committee were Mr Andre Levy; Jim Slevin, Chairperson of the DLDC; Mark Murray and Mary McHugh from the Department of Social Protection. Mr Levy said:

‘There are some remarkable individuals involved who’ve already had significant success and in some cases have already won awards for their business.
‘We all know that the business environment has been very challenging in recent years and I’m delighted The Wild Geese company is able to help celebrate this level of achievement in Donegal’

*The products comprised in The Wild Geese Collection of Premium Spirits are sold under The Wild Geese Soldiers & Heroes in North America and worldwide under The Wild Geese.

Men of Action: Ireland Triumph At 6 Nations

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Brian O’Driscoll raises the 6 Nations trophy after Ireland’s victory in 2009 (Photo by Arun Marsh via Flickr Creative Commons)

Last weekend was a big one for the Irish. Ireland’s big win of the RBS Six Nations tournament kick-started the St Patrick’s Day celebrations!

But this was a hard fought victory. Ireland headed into their final game needing a win against France. Only a win would ensure the team was clutching the trophy come St Patrick’s Day.

After a strong performance from France in the first quarter, Ireland fought back to crush this early lead. Jonathan Sexton scored two tries and the team continued to fight off a French retaliation. In the end Ireland secured their second Six Nations victory, beating France 22-20!

This was Brian O’Driscoll’s last international game, and what a fairytale ending for him.

‘It is great to finish my career on a high,’ O’Driscoll said. ‘When I do hang this jersey up on the hook inside it will be with fond memories’.

‘The emotions are starting to kick in now. It feels great to be a two-time Six Nations winner’.

In 2009 Brian O’Driscoll captained Ireland to win the Six Nations and a second victory is long deserved.

‘It’s a wonderful feeling. I’ve played a long time for Ireland and to only have won one Six Nations championship would have been disappointing so I’m really delighted for this group of players, for how talented they are, how hard they worked’.

Now is the time that the emotions will flow. The team was welcomed back to a huge crowd in Dublin, with the win marking one of the best starts to St Patrick’s Day in recent years. For the Ireland team and many of the fans, the victory will be bittersweet following O’Driscoll’s retirement from international games.

St Patrick’s Day 2014: It’s A Long Way To The Tipperary But Our Heart’s Right There

P1010677The Tipperary is the oldest Irish pub in London. Steeped in Irish heritage, it has been a haven for Wild Geese for hundreds of years and a remarkable taste of home. And now we’ve flocked behind the bar! Yes, The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey* is now served in London’s oldest Irish pub, just in time for St Patrick’s Day!

The Tipperary was first built in 1300, on the side of a monastery where the monks brewed ale.

In 1605 it was transformed into ‘The Boar’s Head’. It’s stood the test of time, surviving the Great Fire of London having been built of stone and brick, rather then wood.

It came under Irish ownership in around 1700, becoming the first Irish pub outside of Ireland. It was fitted out in traditional Irish style, including a clock by Thomas Tompion.

Following the First World War, the printers returning from the war had the pub named ‘The Tipperary’, inspired by the war song, ‘It’s A Long Way’, and the name remains today.

Today The Tipperary is run by Steve Rowlands, who has a huge passion for fine spirits. The interior retains the original Irish character and behind the bar now sits The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey Collection. It’s a great place to enjoy The Wild Geese this St Patrick’s Day!

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The Tipperary’s owner Steve Rowloands with The Wild Geese Collection*

** Outside North America The Wild Geese Soldiers & Heroes Irish Whiskey Collection is sold under the ‘brand name’ of ‘The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey Collection’

St Patrick’s Day 2014: Meeting Today’s Wild Geese

To celebrate St Patrick’s Day we’ve met some of today’s Wild Geese, who have reflected on what it means to be Irish abroad.

In 1691 Patrick Sarsfield and his followers left Ireland. They took the name ‘The Wild Geese’ in the hope and belief that they would one day return. Although many did not see Ireland again, they kept Ireland in their hearts while they achieved extraordinary feats in their host communities.

This story continues today with Wild Geese still making valuable contributions while living and working away from Ireland. Full of ambition and determination, their Untamed Irish spirit shine through.

Meet some today’s Wild Geese in London! Cormac Redmond, Ian McKeown, Vashit Curran and Mick Kelly who work at the famous Waxy O’Connor’s and Karen Houlihan and Robert Murray from the stylish Bentley Oyster Bar & Grill, who were good enough to share their own stories with us.

Click to discover more on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TheWildGeeseIrishSoldiersAndHeroes

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Men of Action: George Washington’s St Patrick’s Day

In 1787, reflecting on his travels in North America, George Grieve noted:

‘On more than one imminent occasion, Congress owed their existence, and America possibly her preservation, to the fidelity and firmness of the Irish’

The Irish were already prominent members of American communities by the time the American Revolution started. Sympathising with the plight that America faced, many Irish soldiers flocked to the support of George Washington and his commanders and joined the fight for freedom.

These Wild Geese quickly became the largest immigrant group in the Continental Army. It is thought that they made up one quarter of the fighting force. France sent support as the revolution intensified and the first troops it sent were the regiments Dillon, Walsh and Roche of the Irish Brigade. Irish soldiers were a familiar yet formidable force on the battlefields, and played their parts in forming the new nation of America. As George Grieve noted their contributions were many and they pursued the path to freedom with courage and determination.

The Marquis de Lafayette noted this contribution in 1779, saying:

‘May the kingdom of Ireland merit a stripe in the American Standard’

 

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But toward the end of 1779, the soldiers fighting in the revolutionary war faced the bleakest winter yet. General George Washington set up camp in Morristown, New Jersey. Snowstorms were commonplace and in this harsh climate the Continental Army was hungry and cold. Morale was low.

After months of these conditions, General Washington recognised that his troops needed to rest and it was important to reinvigorate moral. The key to this was St. Patrick’s Day.

Many of the soldiers in the camp were Irish or held Irish ancestry, with the regiments from Pennsylvania and Maryland thought to be nearly half Irish. Seven of the eleven brigades were commanded by generals either born in Ireland or with Irish ancestry. So it seemed appropriate to celebrate St Patrick’s Day.

Washington declared the 17th March 1780 as an r&r day for the camp, awarding the holiday ‘as an act of solidarity with the Irish in their fight for independence’.

Today it is thought there are over 50 million people of Irish ancestry in the USA and St Patrick’s Day is celebrated throughout the country.

Men of Action: Last Charge of the ‘Leinster Leviathan’

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Image by wynnert, via Flickr Creative Commons

Ireland are rocketing into their next 6 Nations Rugby match with two wins behind them. The team’s performances in the annual championship have been exemplary, and it seems like the perfect tournament for Brian O’Driscoll to retire to.

The ‘Leinster leviathan’s’ departure from the game is already being felt throughout the rugby world. He’s often referred to as one of the greatest players ever and has displayed the strong Irish heart of the Wild Geese. His determination on and off the field has shone through.

O’Driscoll will be hoping to capitalise on the 28-6 win against Scotland and the 26-3 win against Wales, to hit a hat-trick of wins against England this weekend, where he will draw with Australia’s George Gregan for the most caps in the game (139).

Although his career glistens with achievements, it is his character and commitment to his team that will be remembered. Camaraderie has also been an important trait to Wild Geese from which strong leaders have emerged. Like Patrick Sarsfield, O’Driscoll has lead his troops abroad.

‘I believe that any team taking the field with Brian involved always fell they have a chance of winning,’ explains Ireland’s captain Paul O’Connell. ‘You see that confidence now spread across the provinces’.

O’Connell has been celebrating the transformation Brian O’Driscoll has brought to the game by spreading ‘confidence across the whole set-up’.

‘He’s the complete player. You have to defend as well as you attack, to be an elite member of the team off the pitch as well as on it. Many of those who come through now are in the mould of brian, in terms of the way he has carried himself. They have modelled themselves on him’

Men of Action: Martin Luther King Jr’s Dream Lives On

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Martin Luther King Day passed this week on Monday 20th January, proving that The Dream still resonates with people far and wide.

Martin Luther King Jr. was a man who would not accept the world around him. He stood up to be counted and united people under a banner of love to fuel change in his society. He was a Man of Action and Martin Luther King Day has always been a day to reflect on the man and what he stood for. In honour of this, yesterday was billed as ‘a day on, not a day off’, despite being a US Federal holiday.

People were encourage to work with the passion of Martin Luther King to improve their communities. US President Barack Obama and his family served food in a Washington soup kitchen and throughout the US communities gathered to hear topical speeches and walk in parades.

All this acts a focal point. During tough times, it’s important to remember why Martin Luther King took action. To champion character over colour. Love over hate. Protest over violence. Freedom over oppression. Equality over discrimination.

He was a Man of Action and this week reminds us all to stand up. To be counted. To take action.