Book on history of brewery set for launch

A NEW book on the history of the Great Northern Brewery will be launched on Thursday night by staff from Diageo at the Old Gaol.

A NEW book on the history of the Great Northern Brewery will be launched on Thursday night by staff from Diageo at the Old Gaol.

The book was compiled by former company draughtsman Frank Woods, who retired at the end of August last year after 33 years of service.

It features the origins of the brewery in Dundalk right back to 1897 as well as celebrating the past five decades of Harp Lager in the town.

As well as over 1,000 photos, the 240 page publication features many of the company's best remembered advertisements, detail on the background of the brewery and an enormity of memories.

Speaking ahead of the launch, Frank said he was looking forward to the night.

"I became almost the unofficial archivist during my 33 years in the brewery and when I retired I decided to take on board a pictorial history of the place.

"The tag was always a bit of fun but it came about because I kept a lot of drawings, photographs, papers and magazines over the years. As draughtsman, I did a lot of the drawings and tended to keep them.

"The book took four months to put together and I finished it just before Christmas but it was just too tight to Christmas for a launch so we held back until now.

"We'll be presenting on to each of the workers on the night and then there will be a few in the library as well for the general public," said Frank.

Frank said though that he got great support in compiling the book, which features the visits of many statesmen to the factory including WT Cosgrove, Sean Lemass and Garrett Fitzgerald.

"The place was photographed right up until the 1990s by Paul Kavanagh so he was a great resource and I also got a lot of photos from people in the social club," he said.

"Fran Downey of GoCreate helped out with the design and Dundalk Bookbinding in Wolfe Tone Terrace put it together so all the work was done locally."

l Frank Woods

l The famous brewery building in the 1950s