A complete planning application will now be lodged with Tipperary Co. Council, for the redevelopment of the Cashel Palace Hotel, latter a historic landmark since its erection in the early 1700’s.
Guinness porter of course was first accidentally conceived in the early to mid 1700’s at the now Cashel Palace Hotel, then the palace of Archbishop Arthur Price (1678 – 1752) Church of Ireland Archbishop of Cashel from 1744 until his death. Estate manager and father to Arthur Guinness Richard Guinness, was in charge of supervising the brewing of beer for the estates employees on the Price estate.
Supplying beer to employees at that time was considered part of their weekly wage entitlement. A servant was dispatched from the estate to purchase and convey the necessary beer making materials from Ryan’s brewery stores here in Main Street, Thurles, (today Kickham Street Thurles). During the later brewing process back in Cashel, some of these ingredients, barley possibly, was accidentally over heated in error, in fact roasted until virtually black, thus giving a unique burnt flavour to the beer and known to us today as Porters Ale or Guinness Porter and described then by the Archbishop himself as being “a brew of a very palatable nature.”
The historic Cashel Palace Hotel situated at Main Street, Cashel on some 28 acres of ground, closed its doors without warning with the loss of some 30 permanent jobs in December 2014 last. A resale of the building was concluded in late 2015 and announced in February 2016 by purchasers Trevester Ltd; a joint venture between the Magnier family of Coolmore Stud and other International investors.
A recognised workforce has been put in place to undertake the redevelopment under the leadership of project manager Trish Conroy, including award-winning and internationally respected architects Reardon Smith and heritage experts from Consarc Design Group Ltd, one of the largest architectural practices in Ireland.
It is widely speculated that some 40 new bedrooms, two new restaurants, a new spa together with a function room to hold some 175 people, will now be included in this completed planning application. The initial construction phase is expected to involve some 100 people working on the project, taking up to between 18 to 24 months to fully complete the required work. On its completion the hotel is expected to employ a minimum of 40 full-time professional staff, together with some 100 part time casual employees on a regular basis, by late 2019.
This same group of investors also acquired the famous Cashel pub known as ‘Mikey Ryan’s,’ latter which is adjacent to the existing hotel gardens, and with refurbishment work here already under way, same should be all set to reopen this summer, employing a further 20 to 25 professional staff.
This completed planning proposal should also see the delivery of a 3-acre town park, as already set out in the Cashel Development Plan which would further enable the reinstatement of the famed Bishop’s walk, allowing connectivity between the Rock of Cashel and the historic town centre.
Locally this news will be warmly received by Cashel residents who look forward to this project making an enormous contribution to local tourism and the overall economic life of historic Cashel; a town where, in a fifth-century a Romeo-British Christian missionary and bishop named Saint Patrick once preached at the royal hill, converting king Aengus, latter a member of the Tuatha Dé Danann and probably a god of love, youth and poetic inspiration.