Thursday, September 24, 2009


Photo by Stephen Barnes

Guinness began in the brewery of Arthur Guinness (1725–1803) in Dublin.

It is now owned by the controversial multi-national conglomerate named Diageo.

On 9 May 2008, Diageo announced that breweries in Kilkenny and Dundalk will be closed by 2013.

In September 2009, a court heard that during a flight from India to the UK, Clare Irby, a descendant of the Guinness family had allegedly got drunk, bragged about taking opium, called one crew member a 'bitch' and tossed aside a soiled nappy.

An oversight by the UK's controversial Crown Prosecution Service meant that Irby walked free from the court. (Toff cleared of jet booze charge)

From The Independent on Sunday, 20 September 2009, (Happy birthday Guinness! The Black Stuff at 250.), and other sources, we learn:

1. Three of Arthur Guinness's grandchildren became alcoholics.

2. The third Arthur Guinness was gay and had a brief affair with the young playwright, Dion Boucicault.

The fourth Arthur Guinness (Lord Ardilaun) was probably gay.

He was member of parliament for Dublin in London's House of Commons.

A court case revealed voter bribery (£5 a vote) by his agents.

(Who was Arthur Guinness? It depends on which one you mean. The Guinnesses: The Untold Story of Irelands Most Successful Family , by Joe Joyce).

3. In 1929, Bryan Guinness married Diana Mitford.

Nancy left Guinness and went off with the British fascist leader Oswald Mosley.

4. In 1944 Walter Edward Guinness, the first Baron Moyne, was assassinated in Cairo where he was Resident Minister of State.

5. In 1966, Tara Browne, the 21-year-old son of Oonagh Guinness, died when he crashed his car.

6. Tara's sister, Tessa, died of an asthma attack aged 14.

7. Prince Frederick of Prussia was married to Lady Brigid Guinness. In 1966 Prince frederick drowned.

8. In 1954, Norris and Ross McWhirter were commissioned to compile what became The Guinness Book of Records.

According to The Observer (4 September 1977) Ross McWhirter had close links to G. K.Young, ex Deputy Director of MI6.

In 1975, Ross McWhirter was murdered by the IRA.

9. In 1978, Lady Henrietta Guinness jumped to her death off an aqueduct in Italy.

10. In 1978 four-year-old Peter Guinness died in a car crash.

11. In 1978 Major Denys Guinness died of a drugs overdose.

12. In 1986 Olivia Channon, aged 22, great-granddaughter of Rupert Guinness, died of a drugs overdose.

13. In 1986, Jennifer, the wife of the banker John Guinness, was kidnapped in Dublin.

14. In 1988, Sheridan Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, son of Maureen Guinness, died of an Aids-related illness in 1988.

15. In 1986, John Guinness died when he fell off Mount Snowdon.

16. In 2004, Robert Hesketh, the husband of Catherine Guinness, died after taking heroin, cocaine and alcohol.


The Guinness share-trading fraud was a famous scandal of the 1980s.

It involved an attempt to manipulate the stock market on a massive scale to inflate the price of Guinness shares and thus assist a £2.7 billion take-over bid for the Scottish drinks company Distillers.

A top British Jew called Gerald Ronson became known in the UK as one of the 'Guinness Four' for his part in the Guinness share-trading fraud along with Ernest Saunders and business associates Jack Lyons and Anthony Parnes.

Ronson "was convicted in August 1990 of one charge of conspiracy, two of false accounting, and one of theft, and was fined £5 million and given a one-year jail sentence." - Gerald Ronson - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Whisky jobs to move to China and India? Time to boycott Johnnie Walker?

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