guinness barges on liffey

Above, Consignments for export were placed in barges owned by Guinness at the company’s own wharf at Victoria Quay, beside Kingsbridge Railway Station. The barges (ten in total) could carry up to sixty-eight tons each.

Very near the same location Guinness was thanked in a letter from Commander in Chief for British Forces in Ireland to Guinness expressed appreciation for their loyalty through 1916 by supplying flatbed trucks used as armoured carriers saying  “At this moment when the lorries you have so generously put at our disposal.. practically saved us… and enabled us to get through without a hitch..” 

Arthur Guinness was trained in brewing techniques and purchased Mark Rainsford’s Ale Brewery in 1759 with a £100 inheritance(the equivalent of £18,000 today), it was in an industrialised area of Dublin outside the city walls, known for its tanneries, for weaving, (many Huegenots(French Protestants escaping persecution) brought these trades with them), a large number of breweries and distilleries including the George Roe distillery across the road from Guinness established in 1757, the William Jameson Distillery on Marrowbone Lane in 1752, while decades later, in 1791 John Power and Sons(Powers Whiskey) was to convert his inn into a distillery. The Grand Canal Harbour located at Echlin St was the transportation hub.

Guinness got the nickname Black Protestant Porter for Arthur Guinness’ outspoken opposition to 1798, for a time Guinness was boycotted and instead sold into the UK using the name Protestant Porter. Arthur Guinness II was an advocate of the Act of Union and was vocal in his opposition to Daniel O’Connell, it has been argued that the lack of Parliament in Ireland was a deciding factor in the Great Famine.

At the height of the British Empire during the 18th and 19th Centuries the West Indies Porter brand, now known as Guinness Foreign Export was sold into Carribean countries.

Image result for guinness export to the colonies

Family descendant, Jasmine Guinness featuring on RTE’s Where Was Your Family During The Famine uncovered truths about Guinness continuing production during the famine years (Guinness made two contributions of £60 and £100 to famine relief during 1845-1849) and profiteering in the purchase of post famine lands making Guinness the wealthiest person in Ireland by 1889. Benjamin Lee Guinness is listed in the Cork St Fever Hospital’s Annual Report of 1846, (some 500 yards from James’ Gate) along with Daniel O’Connell making £2 annual contributions, Arthur Guinness made a £5 contribution.

Fever Hospital Donations Guinness O'Connell

Between 1844 and 1852, during the period of famine, £8,000 (€1,500,000 by todays standards) was spent by the Dean of St Patricks Cathedral on refurbishing the Cathedral. Benjamin Lee Guinness (1798-1868), financed the rebuilding of the Cathedral in 1856 with a contribution of £150,000, (€27,000,000), restoration work of the adjacent Marsh’s Library also took place, this was the beginnng of the Guinness family philanthropy.

Twenty years later, his brother, Arthur Edward, Lord Ardilaun, (1840-1915) finished the library restoration and financed the construction of a new wing of the Coombe lying-in hospital in 1877.

Arthur Edward’s most famous philanthropic gesture was the purchase of the thirty-acre site at St Stephen’s Green which he had landscaped and gave as a city amenity in 1882.

By 1889 Edward Cecil Guinness was the richest man in Ireland, he donated the back garden of his Dublin city centre home, Iveagh House, to University College Dublin in 1908 and it is now a public garden.

The Guinness Trust was established, its first undertaking was the building of two blocks of dwellings at Thomas Court adjacent to the brewery at James’s Gate and containing 118 flats. Three larger blocks of 336 flats followed at Kevin Street. The trust’s third scheme, at Patrick Street, was its largest. Reasonable rents were offered.

Guinness Trucks converted to Armoured Personnel Carriers used by British Army in 1916.