Maurice O’Connell: Irish Whiskey’s Wayward Gentleman

May 6, 2020
Maturing nicely …Sir Maurice O’Connell, of Lakeview House on the shores of Lough Leane, Killarney, Co Kerry is the great-great-great grand-nephew of 19th Century Statesman, Emancipator and Kerryman ’The Liberator’ Daniel O’Connell. The Inspiration for the name of his new ‘The Liberator’ Irish whiskey series. Made from Barley grown on their Estate, maturing in tawny port casks in a 300 year old stone farm building. The family tradition of supplying spirits in Kerry dates back to 1450, based in Ballycarbery Castle near the the coast of Valentia Island, importing wines and brandies from Spain and Portugal. The O’Connells have been living in Lakeview House since 1820. Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan


In the fight for Irish rights in the early 1800s, there is one dominant name – Daniel O’Connell – known as “The Liberator” or “The Emancipator”. O’Connell, a Kerryman,  campaigned for Catholic emancipation, including the right for Catholics to sit in the Westminster Parliament, something that was denied for more than 100 years—and repeal of the Acts of Union which combined Great Britain and Ireland.

He was a legendary figure and had an outsized impact on the plight of the Irish two short centuries ago. There have been many intersections between the O’Connell family and alcohol over the years (some legitimate, others not so much) and today one particular descendant, Maurice O’Connell hopes to celebrate his family’s history and impact with the establishment of his whiskey company Wayward Irish Spirits.

Maurice has great plans for the family estate near Killarney in the south west of Ireland and in this episode of Stories & Sips, Maurice shares…

  • His family’s colorful history
  • What prompted him to get involved with Irish whiskey
  • The details of his inaugural whiskey series “The Liberator”
  • What role his stunning family estate on Lough Leane in Killarney plays in the whiskey business
  • The challenges faced in starting his own whiskey endeavor
  • His timeline for bringing distillery operations to his estate


Lakeview Estate, Killarney, Co. Kerry, the stunning home of Wayward Irish Spirits

Wayward Irish Spirit’s first release “The Liberator” is available currently from Celtic Whiskey Shop and James Fox in Ireland.


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