Irish Distillers, Ireland’s leading supplier of spirits and wines and producer of some of the world’s most well-known and successful Irish whiskeys, has donated the records from the Power family’s Oylegate estate to the Wexford County Council’s Archives.
The historic Edermine Estate papers, comprised of rentals and land sales correspondence, were found among the records of whiskey production at John’s Lane during the cataloguing of the Irish Distillers archives, now preserved at Midleton Distillery.
The renowned Power family – of whiskey fame – chose to settle in Oylegate in 1838, building their family seat at Edermine House. Passionate about Irish agriculture and dedicated to improving the lives of those who worked the land, they invested heavily in the community by building model houses in the village that are still inhabited to this day. The family also sponsored educational trips to the RDS Winter Fair in 1896 so that people from the locality could learn the latest innovations in farming and apply them to their own holdings.
During these early years, the Power family provided much-needed employment at their John’s Lane Distillery in Dublin to generations of fishermen working the River Slaney, easing harsh winters for them and their families. Many Wexford men employed by the Power family at that time went on to marry women from the Liberties area of Dublin, settling to raise families and adding a distinctive accent to the Dublin borough.
In 1966 the historic distillery of John Power & Son amalgamated with two others; John Jameson & Son and the Cork Distilleries Company, to form Irish Distillers which now operates as the world-famous Midleton Distillery in Co. Cork.
Wexford County Council will now proceed to comprehensively catalogue the Power Family papers, following which the collection will be added to the Council’s archives and made publically accessible.