07 Aug 2022

Bono's €50m Kildare distillery plans on hold as planning application determined invalid

Council returns application

Bono's €50m Kildare distillery plans on hold as planning application determined invalid

LEFT: Bono RIGHT: Ballykelly Mill

Plans for the redevelopment of Monasterevin's Ballykelly Mill into a high-end distillery and visitor centre have hit a stumbling block. 

The proposals, which were lodged with Kildare County Council on September 13, have been returned to the developers because of a paperwork technicality. The council said the site notice should have mentioned that the application was accompanied by a Natura Impact Statement. It had not and therefore the application was invalid.

It had previously been reported that U2 frontman Bono was set to invest in a plan to develop a €50 million facility.

The main driving force behind the proposal is developer Paddy McKillen. Plans were lodged by Jewelfield Limited for the development which would also have included an artisan distillery, reception areas, tasting rooms and exhibition spaces in the seven-storey tall 1700’s era building.

The mill is on a five acre site and runs along the Grand Canal. 

It's likely the application will be lodged again. 

Mr McKillen is an experienced property developer and has worked with Bono on a variety of projects in the past, including the Clarence Hotel. He previously told the Sunday Times that the project would “revive Monasterevin’s rich heritage in producing the finest whiskey going right back to the 18th century”.

Along with his son he owns the Press Up hospitality Group which owns 28 bars, restaurants and hotels. 

The application, included development of an artisan distillery and visitor centre of more than 5,000 square metres, of which more than 3,500 will be a new build. 

The development would also involve demolishing of a number of structures associated with the previous use of the premises. 


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