John O’Connell

Director at West Cork Distillers

Having completed a post doctorate at Unilever Research and Development in The Netherlands, John worked in corporate research for Unilever Research and Development in the UK before joining Kerry Group in Ireland.  John was Director of Research and Development in Kerry Group, developing protein ingredients for the infant formula sector, sports nutrition sector and enteral nutrition sector.  In 2004, John founded West Cork Distillers, following his passion of entrepreneurship, innovation and the dream to establish an independent distillery in his native West Cork.  West Cork Distillers produces grain, malt and pot still Irish whiskey in a custom designed distillery.  WCD only uses spring water in its processing, only uses grains indigenous to Ireland, i.e., barley & wheat, only pot distills its whiskey and malts its own barley.  WCD is the most southerly located distillery in Ireland and Britain, which in combination with the strong influence of the gulfstream, creates ideal conditions for the maturation of Irish whiskey.