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Guinness Stout: From English to Corporate Colonialism

category national | miscellaneous | feature author Friday July 18, 2003 13:38author by Sean Dunne Report this post to the editors

I submitted this article to Z Magazine awhile ago, hoping to get it into the March edition. The assault on Iraq changed priorities, so it was moved back to the July/August issue. http://www.zmag.org/ZMagSite/curTOC.htm
I'm sure most of you know this story already, and there's also a lot more to be told. Thought I'd share this anyway, and if you aren't familiar with Z Magazine, I'd recommend checking it out. -Sean

drinks_1.jpg EXTRACT: The effects of the Diageo ownership became clear in July, 2000, when Guinness announced plans to close the brewing and packaging plants in Dundalk, located just north of Dublin. The move came as a shock to workers and the community of Dundalk. This was the first Guinness plant closing ever to occur in Ireland. The closing eliminated over 300 jobs in a small community, as management justified the move as part of plan to remain globally competitive.

GUINNESS STOUT: FROM ENGLISH TO CORPORATE COLONIALISM

On March 17, 1737, Boston became the first city in the world to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Since that first celebration, the holiday has grown in popularity throughout the world. There are many activities and customs associated with the day, each designed to celebrate Irish culture. Parades are organized in cities all over the world, ever since New York City held what was considered the first St. Patrick’s Day parade, when Irish regiments in the British Army paraded through the streets in 1762. Irish food, such as corned beef and cabbage, is bravely eaten by people in all parts of the world. Irish dances, sports, literature, and music are also very important aspects of St. Patrick’s Day.

Many people will decide to spend some, or all, of their St. Patrick’s Day celebrations enjoying the atmosphere of an Irish pub. And it is usually in pubs when people make the most misguided of decisions during the festivities of St. Patrick’s Day. That is because, in Irish pubs, many people across the world will drink a pint of Guinness Stout to celebrate Irish culture.

Drinking Guinness does not connect one to Irish culture, because Guinness is not Irish. From the original brewer, Arthur Guinness, to the current owner, the Diageo Corporate group, to the policies that have affected the workforce, it is quite clear that Guinness is not, nor has it ever been, Irish.

Arthur Guinness
Arthur Guinness was born in 1725, and was the son of Richard Guinness and Elizabeth Read. Richard was a Protestant land steward in Celbridge, County Kildare, and was employed by Arthur Price, the Archbishop of Cashel. The Archbishop was Arthur’s godfather, and also the man that Arthur Guinness was named after. One of Richard’s duties was the supervision of the brewing of beer for workers on the estate. It was here that Arthur Guinness developed his skill in the brewing trade, and by 1755 he was already being identified as “Arthur Guinness of Leixlip, County Dublin, brewer.” When Arthur Price passed away in 1752, he left Richard Guinness and his godson Arthur £100 each. Therefore, it was Arthur’s privileged social position, as part of the wealthy Protestant minority, which granted him the opportunity to become a brewer.

After receiving vocational training in brewing, and a substantial sum of money, Arthur Guinness signed a lease for a small brewery in Leixlip, County Dublin, dated from 29 September, 1756 when he was 31 years of age. Arthur began his career in the industry by only first brewing beer, or ale. The brewery prospered and it provided Arthur with the financial capability to purchase the St. James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin. On 1 December 1759, Arthur Guinness entered his signature in the Minute Book of the Brewers and Maltsters Corporation, to acknowledge his lease of the property at St. James’s Gate, Dublin. Information provided by Guinness and other popular literature that celebrates Guinness do not stress Arthur’s elite social position, but instead describe him as a daring entrepreneur. According to Guinness marketing literature, “He was the man who, in 1759, took a chance and signed a 9000 year lease, at an annual rent of £45, on a disused brewery in Dublin…The Brewery then consisted of a copper, a kieve, a mill, two malthouses, stables for 12 horses and a loft which could hold 200 tons of hay.” The information provided by Guinness neglects to mention that along with the brewery, a commodious dwelling house with a spacious garden that included a fish pond, was also part of the property. Therefore, the “chance” taken by Arthur Guinness came with a luxury home.

Soon after the beginning of Arthur’s lease, problems arose between his brewery and the Dublin City Corporation. The problem regarded Arthur’s refusal to pay for the use of city water. In the 1764 Dublin Assembly Roll, a township committeeman stated:

Your committee observe to your honours, that they have used all reasonable methods to induce Mr. Guinness to become tenant to the city for water, which he has hitherto declined, insisting upon a right, thereto, without paying any compensation for the same, and though he has several times promised to show his title, he has now totally refused it. We therefore think it would be proper, that the committee be empowered to take such effectual methods as may be necessary to prevent his having any future supply of water, until he agree to pay for the same and discharge the arrears, and should any expense arise thereon, the same to be defrayed by the corporation.

The Dublin Corporation eventually decided to cut off the city water supply to the St. James’s Gate Brewery. The sheriff was advised to dispatch two men to the brewery, while corporation workers shut off the supply. However, Arthur Guinness intervened and prevented the men from cutting off the water supply. A witness to the scene reported that:

Mr. Guinness came on the scene, took a pickaxe from one of the workmen, and ‘with very much improper language’ declared that they should not proceed with the job, ‘saying that if they filled up the watercourse from end to end, he would open it up again.’

Eventually, the disagreement was resolved, twenty years after Arthur Guinness was originally asked to pay for the use of city water. On 24 May 1784, Arthur agreed to sign an 8,795-year lease that required him to pay £10 a year for the use of city water. (Both this lease, and the original lease, have been modified since that time.)

During the years of the prolonged water dispute, another important development took place at the St. James’s Gate brewery. Arthur Guinness first began to brew porter in 1778, and would eventually stop brewing ale in 1799. Arthur was inspired by a London brewer, named Harwood. Harwood developed a brew which he called “Entire”, that used roast barley and high temperatures in the brewing process. (It is the roast barley which gives the drink a dark ruby color, the nitrogen bubbles you see as the drink settles produces the white head at the top.) The dark brew was a favorite drink among the street porters of Covent Garden, London, who drank it for its high iron content. The drink was nicknamed “porter”, and was soon exported to Ireland. The St. James’s Gate brewery would develop several types of porter, eventually introducing the word “stout” to describe its versions of porter. (In the late 1600’s to early 1700’s, the term “stout” was used to describe a strong beer.) Arthur was strongly influenced by an English brewer, but also had other critical connections to England.

The one aspect of Arthur’s life which makes the most compelling case against the claim of his Irish identity would be Arthur’s political allegiance. Arthur, like many members of the elite minority, was closely aligned with the forces of English colonialism. Arthur was directly opposed to any movement toward Irish Independence, and wanted Ireland to remain under English control. He was publicly opposed to any political or social change that might threaten the rights of his property. These political beliefs become even more apparent in future generations of the Guinness family.

The Guinness Family
After Arthur Guinness retired from the brewery, his son, also named Arthur (1768-1855), assumed control. Along with sharing the same name, the two had similar political outlooks. In the general election of 1835, the second Arthur Guinness not only opposed Daniel O’Connell, but seriously considered running against him. O’Connell fought for the repeal of the Act of Union, and therefore the independence of Ireland. Arthur Guinness voted against him, and continued with the Guinness loyalty to English rule. Supporters of O’Connell called for a boycott of Guinness, but O’Connell eventually dismissed such actions.

Benjamin Lee Guinness (1798-1868), Arthur’s son, took full control of the brewery after his father’s death in 1855. Around this time, he purchased what was then worth between £20,000 and £30,000 worth of land in County Mayo. He would also later buy a luxurious estate in Ashford, County Galway. Benjamin purchased this land during the years surrounding the massive starvation in Ireland. He was an extremely wealthy man who possessed the ability to aid evicted and starving farmers, but opted instead to exploit a prime investment opportunity in real estate.

Benjamin also entered politics by being elected Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1851. In 1865, he was elected within the Conservative interest to the Irish Parliament. And naturally, he was a strong Unionist. Referring to nationalists, he stated:

Those wicked and worthless adventurers who would not only deprive our country of the advantages which, as a part of the British Empire, we enjoy, but who would overturn all the social arrangements of society.

On Fenianism, Benjamin stated:

Irishmen generally abhor the projects of Fenianism; and the sentiments of sedition and rebellion which its followers inculcate have emanated from a foreign land, and been spread and nurtured in this country by emissaries, who hope by deception and by pillage to grasp from its owners their property.

Following Benjamin’s death in 1868, the brewery was transferred to his two sons, Arthur Edward and Edward Cecil (1847-1927). Edward Cecil eventually bought out his brother, who showed little interest in the business. Edward continued the same political outlook as his father. During a time of optimistic Irish nationalism, Edward used his position as High Sheriff of Dublin to assist in the organization of the State visit of the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII. This act later earned him his baronetcy.

In 1886, Edward Cecil made Guinness a public company to be quoted on the London stock market. The decision therefore placed Guinness as an English company. He chose Baring Brothers as his merchant bank, and the company floated for £6 million. The most remarkable aspect of the deal was the favoritism showed toward the wealthy elite. Shares of the company were hoarded by the rich, which left the public little opportunity to invest. Although the event was then legal, it led to vast public criticism.

Edward Cecil divided control of the brewery between three sons, with Rupert Edward (1874-1967) succeeding him as the Chairman of the company. Rupert won a seat during the General Election of 1906, as another Conservative Guinness who opposed Home Rule. Soon after this, members of the Guinness family spoke in the House of Commons to recommend the execution of the leaders of the 1916 rising, an event that clearly revealed the family’s long held political beliefs.

New Ownership
The ownership of Guinness shares was kept within the family through inheritance and this continued until 1986, when Ernest Saunders became CEO of the company. Until then, there were board members related to Edward Cecil’s three sons. The percentage of family ownership decreased through continual division of shares, and mergers with other interests. For example, the takeover of Irish Distillers reduced their share percentage from 22% to 4.5%.

Ernest Saunders, who is not an Irish citizen or related to the Guinness family, was arrested along with others in March 1987 on charges related to insider trading. Before his appointment to Guinness, Saunders was a highly skilled marketing and public relations man who worked in Geneva for Nestle. During this time, Nestle discouraged mothers in Third World countries from natural breastfeeding, and promoted the use of Nestle’s powdered baby formula. The formula had to be mixed with the infected water of these areas, which led to the widespread sickness of babies. An international boycott of the company ensued with the aid of the World Health Organization. Saunders was involved with attempts to reconcile Nestle’s image with the public. Guinness was aware of this incident before they offered Saunders the position of CEO.

Anthony Greener is also not an Irish citizen or related to the Guinness family. He joined Guinness in 1987, and eventually negotiated the merger of Guinness and Grand Metropolitan in 1997 to form the Diageo corporate group. After the merger, Diageo held controlling interests in Guinness, Burger King, Haagen-Dazs, and Pillsbury. Queen Elizabeth knighted Greener in June 1999 for his role in creating Diageo. The Diageo corporate group has since sold off its holdings in Burger King, Haagen-Dazs, and Pillsbury, and has acquired Seagram’s to further consolidate its position in the international drinks market.

Throughout history, the ownership of Guinness is unable to claim any true connection to Ireland. It is more accurate to state that the beliefs of Guinness ownership have always been anti-Irish. This point becomes more evident through the examination of the Guinness workforce.

Guinness Workforce
Many people might consider Guinness to be Irish, because they believe the workers who brew the beer reside in Ireland. However, a closer look the structure of the Guinness workforce reveals a clear reflection of the political philosophy of Guinness ownership. This begins with the segregation of the workforce, and continues with elimination of more and more Irish jobs in the name of rationalization.

The Guinness workforce was segregated from the very beginning. For most of its history, Guinness management has been dominated by the Protestant minority of Ireland. Catholic workers were barred from holding a management position. In fact, it was not until the 1960’s that a Catholic worker entered management, after facing strong opposition. In other words, over two hundred years had passed since the signing of the lease at St. James’s Gate brewery before a Catholic was allowed promotion to a management position.

Guinness maintained its headquarters in Dublin for many years, and many Dubliners found employment at the brewery. Despite the absence of internal promotion, Guinness workers were highly paid in comparison to other jobs in Dublin, and received health and other benefits before they were introduced to other occupations throughout Ireland. Many of the jobs at the brewery required great skill, however the vast majority of them have since been eliminated. Job reductions were caused by the introduction of new technologies at the brewery, but also the new philosophy that currently influences the Guinness operation.

Today, the structure of the Guinness workforce is less driven by the apartheid system of sectarianism. It is now more controlled by the agenda of corporate capitalism. Workers at the brewery are less likely to be oppressed due to their religious beliefs, but now face being victims of a rationalization plan. The effects of the Guinness family’s allegiance to British rule have been replaced by the effects of the ownership of the Diageo corporate group.

The effects of the Diageo ownership became clear in July, 2000, when Guinness announced plans to close the brewing and packaging plants in Dundalk, located just north of Dublin. The move came as a shock to workers and the community of Dundalk. This was the first Guinness plant closing ever to occur in Ireland. The closing eliminated over 300 jobs in a small community, as management justified the move as part of plan to remain globally competitive.

The famous brewery at St. James’s Gate has also seen tremendous change. During the 1930’s, Guinness employed over 12,000 men in Dublin, nearly 10% of the male population. Today, there are only an estimated 500 workers left at the St. James’s Gate brewery. Many departments that once existed at St. James’s Gate have been moved to the Park Royal brewery in West London, which has long been considered the headquarters of Guinness. As Guinness now operates breweries in several countries, Irish workers presently form a minority of the Guinness operation.

Not all areas of the St. James’s Gate brewery have faced reduction. The tourist facility at the brewery has recently received tremendous investment. In 2000, the £32 million Guinness Storehouse was opened at St. James’s Gate brewery. The Storehouse invites visitors to experience the history and wonders of Guinness Stout by exploring a Guinness museum, enjoying Guinness at the Gravity bar, and purchasing Guinness merchandise at the retail shop.

Around the same time as the opening of the Guinness Storehouse, talk began of a possible move from St. James’s Gate. The Diageo management is still considering moving the brewing operation from St. James’s Gate to a location just outside of Dublin, in order to improve the efficiency of distribution. Brewing would completely cease at the site, leaving behind only one responsibility at St. James’s Gate, the production of marketing messages by the Guinness Storehouse.

This is not to say that St. James’s Gate brewery would no longer be an essential part of Guinness, as the brand image production of Guinness is very important to the company. This tradition dates back to April 5th, 1862, when the O’Neill harp, (an icon of Irish history that has been associated with Nationalist movements), was chosen as the Guinness trademark. From that time through to recent promotions that gave away Irish pubs to Americans on St. Patrick’s Day, Guinness has always invested heavily in portraying an Irish image to particular markets. And this investment has paid off very well, just take a look around on St. Patrick’s Day.

So, should Guinness be involved in St. Patrick’s Day celebrations? Absolutely. It should be used as a point in conversation to better understand the events of Irish history. This would be a great improvement on the more popular activity of contributing to a legacy of inequality and greed.

drinks.jpg

author by dpublication date Wed Jul 16, 2003 17:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

but i thought he won the brewery on the flip of a coin... he favoured the harp and thats why it's now immortalised on every glass...

author by damnbutterpublication date Wed Jul 16, 2003 17:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I agree that those wankers have has too easy a time of it here, being lazily accepted as 100% Irish.

Here are a few facts about the British Guinness empire;

Arthur Guinness was named in United Irish newsletters of the day as a target to boycott because he was known as a "notorious Orangeman". Boycott didn't meet with too much success unfortunately.

Guinness manafactured crude armoured cars for the British army in 1916 from old steel brewing vats, as the Brits had no experience of urban warfare at this time, this was of immense benefit to them.

I believe, though not 100% sure, that Guinness have copyrighted the Harp symbol and that the Government had/has to pay them for it's use.

Guinness has a texture like snot and tastes like a belch.

author by Ciaranpublication date Wed Jul 16, 2003 18:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well Done!

author by Arthur C, no Arthur Gpublication date Wed Jul 16, 2003 18:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Quote 1:
"From the original brewer, Arthur Guinness (...)it is quite clear that Guinness is not, nor has it ever been, Irish. "

Quote 2:
"Arthur Guinness was born in 1725, and was the son of Richard Guinness and Elizabeth Read. Richard was a Protestant land steward in Celbridge, County Kildare, and was employed by Arthur Price, the Archbishop of Cashel. The Archbishop was Arthur’s godfather, and also the man that Arthur Guinness was named after. One of Richard’s duties was the supervision of the brewing of beer for workers on the estate. It was here that Arthur Guinness developed his skill in the brewing trade, and by 1755 he was already being identified as “Arthur Guinness of Leixlip, County Dublin, brewer.” When Arthur Price passed away in 1752, he left Richard Guinness and his godson Arthur £100 each. Therefore, it was Arthur’s privileged social position, as part of the wealthy Protestant minority, which granted him the opportunity to become a brewer"

So - Protestants can't be Irish then? How do you define an "Irish" drink? Is it just Communion wine?

author by Sean Dunnepublication date Wed Jul 16, 2003 18:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

both the Irish government and Guinness use the same harp, but Guinness was able to get to the trademark first. To fix this, the Irish government reversed the harp, so it's facing to the left, rather than to the right. Check a euro coin, then look at a Guinness logo.

author by Porterpublication date Wed Jul 16, 2003 18:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Jobs in Smithwicks were always reserved for the local Masons and Jaffas. Protestants never drink Smithwicks because they know the brewery workers piss in it to get at taigs.

author by iopublication date Wed Jul 16, 2003 18:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

O'Connell had no intention of "irish independence" he fought to repeal the Act of Union on the grounds that the Union had failed to give the promised benefits. O'Connell never would even hav entertained notions of "irish independence" and his "parliament" like his "emancipation" only served the interest of a newly emergent catholic middle class. We ought never forget that to allow catholics the vote oh thank you O'Connell all landowners who paid 5pounds rate a year were disenfranchised-
Previous to Catholic Emancipation land owners who paid 5 pounds a year and accepted the 39 articels of faith of the CofI could vote take part in the fledgling state. After O'Connell anyone with 10 pounds rate reciept a year could vote even if they were a catholic or presbytarian.

In today's political pàrlance O'Connell was a PD.
none of that stuff whatever your mammy or history teacher told you has anything to with Irish freedom or independence.

Like every other country it is the story of the $.

just like Guinness I suppose.

good article sean....i drink Xibecca @ 96cents a litre in my local cheap and cheerful foodcorp market.

author by pat cpublication date Wed Jul 16, 2003 18:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Orange lobsters puzzle Islanders, scientists
Last Updated Mon, 14 Jul 2003 19:19:57

http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2003/07/14/lobster_orange030714

KILDARE, P.E.I. - A federal fisheries scientist has come to Prince Edward Island to investigate dozens of lobsters with orange shells.

Lobsters normally turn a unique shade of orange when they're cooked. But a crateful of live orange lobsters turned up recently in Plymouth, Mass. The mystery has its roots somewhere in the Northumberland Strait, off the coast of P.E.I.



The orange shellfish have been good for a joke or two.
"This lad showed up and I knew he was always coming for cooked lobster," said lobster buyer Jamie Rayner. "So I told him to go in and take his pick. About the time he reached in the crate to take his pick, the eyeball moved and up came the claw."

Rayner didn't realize the chances of finding an orange lobster are about one in four million. This season he has seen almost 80.

The rare lobsters have attracted federal fisheries scientist Marc Lanteigne, who has come to collect samples from about a dozen orange lobsters. He'll take them back to his lab in Moncton for DNA tests.

"By the range of size, it doesn't seem to be from the same family," says Lanteigne. "So it's not coming from the same mother."



The orange colour is a clue. Lanteigne says it is the "real" colour of lobsters.

Jamie Rayner


A fatty acid makes most lobsters turn green, so something may be missing from the diet of the orange ones. The mystery is, what did the lobsters eat and where?

The search for answers has moved to the laboratory and the harbours where the lobsters landed.

Rayner knows the lobsters came from somewhere along P.E.I.'s southeastern shore. He's trying to track down who caught them.

In the meantime, he's selling this season's orange lobsters at a premium for those who want to put them on display, not the dinner table.



Written by CBC News Online staff

Related Link: http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2003/07/14/lobster_orange030714
author by damnbutterpublication date Wed Jul 16, 2003 19:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fairly tenuous-even for you Pat

author by Fiachrapublication date Wed Jul 16, 2003 19:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Uh, actually Leixlip is in Kildare not Dublin, except for the Salmon Leap Inn and the Hydro-station.

author by iosafpublication date Wed Jul 16, 2003 22:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

just like the immigranty babees up on PArnell Sq.

(by the way you probably won't find any Guinnesses or immirgant babees in the white pages if you go off researching, now that we've got half the country off on the research....)

author by heads or harpspublication date Wed Jul 16, 2003 23:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Nice article Sean .... gives me (expat) the ammo I need to deal with people who say to me "Oh Ireland ..... Guinness ?"

However, the business about the harp has me puzzled. The harp has been employed as an "Irish" symbol of state since the days of the Tudor dynasty - Henry VIII of the many wives to be precise. He was - or at least claimed to be ! -King of England & Ireland (not of Scotland - not at that time integrated into the "United Kingdom") ..... so I would be very surprised to see the Irish Gov. having to pay any royalties for the use of such a well-established historical symbol ... (unless they got some dodgy legal advice .... !)

http://www.irishcoinage.com/J00050.HTM

However, having said that you are right that the version on my passport seems to be a mirror image of the version on the Tudor coins ... maybe the Guinness saga explains the flip ..... ?

Related Link: http://www.irishcoinage.com/J00050.HTM
author by Ailínpublication date Thu Jul 17, 2003 01:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Baileys "Irish" Cream is another brand owned by Diageo. They have a habit of buying up local brands and playing on the patriotism of the locals. Wasnt Arthur Guinness accussed of using his position to inform on the United Irishmen??

author by Seáinínpublication date Thu Jul 17, 2003 04:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As the Guinness family has been known for centuries. I can't believe that people thought that a Catholic Gael could start up an industry in 1759!

You people are more clueless than I feared.

author by pat cpublication date Thu Jul 17, 2003 11:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

just trying to get you out of your shell.

author by Viking Scumpublication date Thu Jul 17, 2003 12:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Maybe Guinness is not 100% “Oirish” (diddle-dee-ay) and I would agree that it does taste like a belch (one of those bile-induced belches that leaves a poisonous sting in your nose).

However, how many of us can claim to be of pure Irish Ancestry and even if we could what is the big deal about that? Surely, you are not suggesting that those of deeper roots claim precedence over us blow ins?

I for one happen to know that my people were of the Pillaging and Raping kind when they arrived a millennium ago with rage in their eyes’ and blood on their minds. And now we have monstrous tourist mobiles crawling through the streets filled with Americans, Aussie’s and Brits all wearing Viking helmets and waving axes in celebration of the Invasion that clearly has lost it’s weight over the centuries.

Don’t misunderstand me, I am appalled at the revelations Mr Dunne has provided for us to shake our head over but are there not more important and more current example’s of the financial colonisation that is occurring in our Emerald Isle eg: Ann Summers directly across the street from the GPO, the diminishing amount of Irish chain stores and independent companies etc.

So what are we going to do about it? Resign to bitching and griping over the internet or maybe change our choice ale? May I suggest Dublin Beer Brewing company if anyone is interested, but beware the Darcy’s (being of Norman decent) ale may have been in some way connected to the suffering of your ancestors.

author by Gaillimhedpublication date Thu Jul 17, 2003 12:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Harp was originally the emblem of the royal kings of the line of David.....yip that'd be the biblical David, anyhow, a certain close descendant of that line is said to have travelled in exile for her own safety to Egypt and then to somewhere in The North, carrrying a harp, and a 'Kinging stone', accompanyied by a scribe. The two turn up in irish mythology, names slightly changed but recognisably similar) at the hill of Tara , an egyptian princess and her scribe, carrying a harp and what was to become the 'Lia fail', the kinging stone of irish mythology, which would shriek aloud when the rightful king stood upon it. She married into the royal irish line, Tara took its name from her and the harp was borrowed as the official emblem of our own royal dynasty.
So there you go, Ireland,the harp and the biblical Jewish connection. I shit you not.
Incidently ...the stone ended up in scotland but was stolen by the brits in 1212, or thereabouts, stashed in westminster, then repatriated in the 1950s to scotland by some students, it has remained there since (on loan) but must be returned to england for coronations.

author by jasspublication date Thu Jul 17, 2003 18:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Guinness have in the past recieved royalties from the Irish Govt for the use of the Harp symbol but as a "gift" to the nation they have let us have it for free recently.

also as you may be aware they no longer use an Irish ad agency and that Arthur Guinness funeral tripe was filmed in Prague.

the GAA lick their filty orange asses, last years All Ireland Hurling "I would like to thank Guinness for their innovative and successfull advertisment campaign"....fuckin idiots

oh and the drink was invented by a poor auld Irish servant who was too afraid to admit he made a shit of the brewing and invented the Black stuff.

Ireland will never be free until the grass grows up from the ruins of St. James GAte

author by iosafpublication date Thu Jul 17, 2003 20:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

that line
"ireland will never be free till the grass grows up from the ruins of James Gate" is inspired. It works on so many levels. nice one. thank you for that. really excellent. sincerely.
"cumbria will never be free till the grass grows up from the ruins of Thorp".
isn't it cool?
"india shall never be free till the grass grows up from the ruins of Darjeeling".
really excellent.
"america won't be free till the grass grows up from the ruins of......"
:-)

author by Pissheadpublication date Fri Jul 18, 2003 14:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There are soooo many other "irish" booze that are now owned by the mega corporation Ricard. Does it make them french? I doubt Bushmill is a french whiskey (one might argue it is not irish either? a little bit of sectarianism on indymedia?). Does it matter? A corporation is a corporation, the state is the state and any form of nationalism sucks.
Nice piece of reading though

author by Donal O'Liathain - The Irish nation (???)publication date Fri Jul 18, 2003 20:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

James Connolly?
The potato?
St Patrick?

The answer is none of the above, so what differance does it make?

What is Irish anyway, Ive an Irish name, speak Irish, was born and raised in Ireland, played GAA and generally all round lived a 'Irish' life... So do I deserve a higher recognition of Irishness then others? Perhaps I have a typicly Irish/celtic gene code? (hopefully everyone remembers an Austrian lad who tried sorting people by their genes)

Guinness should be condemed for the way it has treated people all round the world not just because they dared to sully the Irish name
("Its not what Guinness has done for the people of Dublin but what the people of Dublin have done for Guinness" - Brendan Behan)

Fair play for the article, an interesting and well researched piece but please leave the vulgar base nationalism behind.

The Irish are no better or no worse then any other people, its not politics that decides weather someone is Irish or not (let alone religion) but where they had the fortune (or mis-fortune) to be born

A very trivial thing when you think about it....




Oh I thought of some more 'Irish' things

Finna Fail,
The Celtic Wolves ,
Justin Barret,
Noel OFlynn
and some of the most experiance urban terrorists in the world......

author by yer only man - micro brewery fanpublication date Sat Jul 19, 2003 02:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

......there are loads of small breweries around the country who are making great beer which has nothing added like they do with guinness. It tastes like beer should taste (10 times better than guinness or any of the other bland site thats everywhere).

check out the porterhouse, messers maguire on dublins quays, the dublin brewing company in smithfield, biddy earlys in INagh country clare. And there are lots of great Irish beers in off licences now(dont give yer money to rich cunt publicans who all vote finna fail)
Finnians red ale, cuirim, moolings . . . there must be about 30 great Irish brews that piss all over guinnes..........why do we still accept that shit anyway
and another great thing about the small brewers . . . . they dont spend shitloads of money on really annoying and patronising ads, NO, THEY SPEND IT ON MAKING THEIR BEER TASTE GREAT!!!!!

author by record straightpublication date Sat Jul 19, 2003 05:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Guinness is not a traditional regional brew, it and its now vanished ilk became popular due to a vogue for russian drinks, stout is russian, guinness is obviously not an irish company, so why the surprise at such revelations, its now owned by another non-irish company, when was it ever irish, well never in any way, so who cares, though it was once a decent employer, nothing lasts forever and its had a good run in this country, we can always complain but its loss is no great shakes compared to all the multinationals who invested in the last ten years or so and are now pulling out, far greater job losses there. It is an odd sentimentality for something we were fooled into thinking was irish that makes this a newsworthy item.

author by good beerpublication date Sun Jul 20, 2003 16:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

http://www.dublinbrewing.com/

they produce, my favorite, 'Revolution'

get it at The Cobblestone in Smithfield

http://www.dublinbrewing.com/revolut.htm

author by GWBpublication date Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

its sectarian shite. so what if guinness isn't irish...as one comment above implied what we say is "irish" is not the case. nationalist bollix trying to continue those imaginary borders. get a life.

author by Joe Mommapublication date Mon Jul 28, 2003 20:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Get this sectarian nonsense off the front page. Any credibility this piece might have as an expose of Diageo as a corporation or employer is fatally undermined by this whole business about Arthur Guinness and family not being Irish.

If the author's understanding of Irish identity is really that one-dimensional, one might think he is not that familiar with this country and its history.

author by Phuq Heddpublication date Wed Jul 30, 2003 20:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

to say that Arthur Guinness' father was a member of the brutal colonial administration that ran the occupation of Ireland and the systematic attempt to destroy its language, customs and independence and that now the Guinness brand is ironically trying to associate itself with that heritage (including ads that feature traditional Gaelic sports like hurling).

There is definitely no doubt that the corporate scumbags like Ernest Saunders are not Irish though.

I have to say that I find it hard to accept the original Arthur Guinness as "Irish" -- it's like the claim of "Rhodesian" settlers or Afrikaaners to be South African.

As far as sectarianism goes it all originates on the side of the privileged colonial occupiers defending their ill gotten gains.

author by damnbutterpublication date Sat Aug 02, 2003 04:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

How's about them feeding pints of their slop to British squaddies on their way to shoot "Sinn Feiners" in 1916 in their freshly manafactured and Guinness logod armoured cars.

author by mrs. m. j. listerpublication date Tue Aug 12, 2003 17:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

porter...
tae....
spuds...

tank god for da brits

author by oirishpublication date Mon Oct 27, 2003 15:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

especially considering our massively open economy and all that. Would you say our farming is 100% Irish or would the EU have something to say about that - would they care? I doubt it. Beamish is better anyway.

author by Angelpublication date Thu Mar 18, 2004 19:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I would like to know when and why the wearing of the orand and green changed? And why St. Patricks Day is celebrarted this way now?

author by Patrick Guinnesspublication date Thu Nov 18, 2004 12:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Quote from Sean Dunne:
"However, a closer look the structure of the Guinness workforce reveals a clear reflection of the political philosophy of Guinness ownership. This begins with the segregation of the workforce, and continues with elimination of more and more Irish jobs in the name of rationalization.

The Guinness workforce was segregated from the very beginning. For most of its history, Guinness management has been dominated by the Protestant minority of Ireland. Catholic workers were barred from holding a management position. In fact, it was not until the 1960’s that a Catholic worker entered management, after facing strong opposition. In other words, over two hundred years had passed since the signing of the lease at St. James’s Gate brewery before a Catholic was allowed promotion to a management position."

Comment:

Being an Irish-American, Mr. Dunne can try to play the iconoclast. However, I have asked him since July 2004 to prove his assertion and he will not.

I referred him to "Guinness Times" by Al Byrne (brother of TV icon Gaybo) who entered management in the 1940s. It is published by Town House Press (Dublin, 1999) and sold well. At page 118 he says that his biggest problem in entering management was that his local priest forbad him in 1943 from studying at Trinity Dublin! He persevered and became a manager 2 decades before the 1960s.

Also, Byrne says (page 123) that he was warmly welcomed by the directors, including my grandfather.

Managers are never appointed on the basis of religion. That would be bad for business. I don't know why he made such an issue of it, when he was entirely wrong.

In the 1800s the Pursers, managers of a then-much-smaller brewery, were Moravians; so what - they did a fine job.

As Mr. Dunne is a PhD student at Trinity Dublin (sociology), I assumed he would be familiar with having to supply his sources, but not in this case. He promised something for me in September but still no joy as of today, 18th November 2004. So if you want to quote his many other inaccuracies, don't ask him for a source.

Patrick Guinness
(Of That Ilk)

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=60439&print_page=true
author by Barrypublication date Thu Nov 18, 2004 20:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I gave up drinking it years ago when I got tired of the Pogues and its less than pleasant taste. Very well written and researched article though.

Just a couple of points though. Daniel O'Connell actually was a strong supporter of the Act of Union throughout much of his self-serving career. He argued that it would give Irish Catholics the same rights as English ones. He also referred to the United Irishmen as "the villainously designing wretches who fomented the rebellion" and was bitterly opposed to them (as was the Catholic Church).

O'Connell also had a disgraceful record as a landowner and politician during the holocaust of 1847. His tenants were evicted just as promptly as his Anglo-Irish landowning neighbours tenants were. O'Connell then declared that although Irish peasants were starving to death by the millions, they would go to heaven for being good catholics, having respected the rights of property and avoided resorting to rebellious methods.

Unsurprisingly, when the free-state gained "independence" they promptly named the main street of the capital after him. I for one regret that the boys that did for Nelsons column didnt have
a swipe at this gentleman also.

As for Arthur Guinness not being Irish, it is very hard , and we shouldnt even try, to define this on biological or religious lines. If we stood 10 Irish people together there would be red-haired ones, blondes, dark etc. There is no such thing as a biologically pure Irishman. Guinness came from exactly the same social and religious background as Robert Emmet.

I tried the locally produced beers in the Cobblestone and must say I was impressed. One was even called 1798 if I can remember (cant remember much of that night, now I come to think of it.)

Now that the bastards are laying off wokers in their 100s, Irish people would be better off avoiding the black, masonic pishwater altogether, and opt for a locally owned and more patriotic (and a less gag-inducing ) alternative.

author by jsrpublication date Thu Nov 18, 2004 23:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ok then what does it mean to be Irish? Catholic, landless? The man was born in Ireland (until quite recently that was enough to make you Irish). He was inspired by an English Idea….so what? Joyce wrote in English so did Yeats do we now disown their works? People have misconceptions about Guinness sure but that does not make it foreign. Can anyone think of another protestant from a rich background, he got involved in politics……twas a while back caused a bit of a fuss……anyone, no? Paddy’s day should be scrapped too cos I just heard the bugger was a foreign national over here working with pigs (stealing Irish jobs no doubt) Well written nonsense. Oh just thought of another pointless fact the kilt was invented by an Englishman as a work uniform and all that stuff bout different tartan for different clans is shite.

author by barrypublication date Fri Nov 19, 2004 05:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As far as Im concerned ANYONE born on this island is Irish. I dont care if theyre catholic , protestant , jewish, muslim, black, white, purple, whatever the f***

The problem I think most people have with characters like Arthur Guinness (and im not being scientific about this so critics can f*** off with accusations of sectarianism) is that they dont identify in the slightest with this island or its people. They identify with another country, Britain, and more importantly the British ruling class and aristocracy.

Also unlike some poor wee orangeman from the back streets of wherever, characters like this are from the ruling elite. Therefore they have little or no emotional ties to Ireland, only financial ones. Whatever money the aristocracy made here was usually frittered away in Londons casinos and whorehouses.

Therefore with the total lack of identification with this island, its people or their interests, its very hard for most people to accept characters like Guinness as Irish.

For example in Algeria, the descendants of french colonialists, the pied-noirs, although born and bred in Algeria, considered themselves French and looked down on the native Algerians. They had no affinity whatsoever with the land of their birth and looked towards the mother-country.

People like Guinness are very similar. For us to consider them as true Irishmen I think depends on how much people from this background want to be considered as Irish themselves.

As for Guinness being good for you, so's cod-liver oil and it tastes like shite as well.

author by Holy moly:publication date Fri Dec 10, 2004 15:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

barry said:
"The problem I think most people have with characters like Arthur Guinness (and im not being scientific about this so critics can f*** off with accusations of sectarianism) is that they dont identify in the slightest with this island or its people. They identify with another country, Britain, and more importantly the British ruling class and aristocracy. "

So, erm, Sarsfield and the Wild Geese in the 1700s identified with the French, Austrian & Spanish aristos. All those Papal Counts. Tone wanted help from France in 1798. Dev wanted recognition from the USA in 1919. Lemass etc. approached the EEC/EU since 1961.

Why so? It was all about getting investment & capital & help into Ireland. But investment=control by others, if you're poor.

Arthur & Co. invested in Dublin with profits made in England. Who complained? Jobs, Stephens Green, housing, hospitals, schools - was that 'identifying' or not? An Irish company until Dev changed the laws in 1932. Dev invested in the Irish Press; clever lad.

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