I arrived back from Boston on Wednesday morning for the launch of the new Distillery and Visitor Centre at Slane which opens its doors to the public on the 2nd September. This is the realisation of a dream. We started on the whiskey road in 2009 by launching our original brand at the Oasis Concert but in truth the birth of the idea was in 1981 when Thin Lizzie headlined Slane. When we had a nightclub in the Castle I would end the night with our alternative national anthem “Whiskey in the Jar”. In the intervening years it has been a long and winding road. Now with our new American partners, Brown-Forman, we hope to conquer the world. It is hard to describe the kick we get walking into bars and restaurants in the States and seeing a bottle of SLANE behind the bar. I have made many new friends and met some colourful characters on this journey. It also gives me a real sense of the many success stories of people who have left these shores over the past decades, most particularly in America.
The States has played an important part in my life. I had the great privilege to go to university at Harvard and it widened my horizons. When I was there Nixon was in the White House. He left in disgrace. The leading question now is whether the same will happen to Trump. Some leading pundits now see this as a firm possibility as the net tightens on the Donald and his family over the Russian investigation. I have always been of the view that in circumstances like this, it is best to follow the money trail. That could well be his downfall. To say the least, his finances and those of his family are murky.
Amongst my American friends their reactions vary from embarrassment to acute anxiety. On my recent trip one of my friends even admitted to seeing a therapist to deal with Trump’s outrageous behaviour. He dominates every news cycle. The late night comedians rip him to shreds on a daily basis. David Remnick writing in the New Yorker on August 20th said it all. “ On November the 9th, the United States elected a dishonest, inept, unbalanced and immoral human being as its President and Commander-in-Chief”.
Trump is a puffed up and dangerous egomaniac. It gave me great pleasure to hear that at least 20 major charities and businesses have pulled events and fundraisers from Mara-a-Lago, his emporium in Palm Beach. The most significant of which is the Red Cross. I have personal knowledge of his gross behaviour at the last Red Cross Ball. This man has the nuclear codes. I pray that America gets rid of him.