First Ireland was started in 1994 with the aim of carving out a niche in the lucrative market for Irish cream liqueurs.
Unlike the other imitators of the Baileys brand, First Ireland hit upon the idea of using wine-based alcoholic liqueurs, a recipe that ensured they could enter a wider stream of retail outlets than those marketing spirits-based alcoholic drinks.
As managing director Joe Lynch explained, the group develops cream-based liqueurs for a variety of “own label” operators but has also developed a lucrative niche in the huge U.S. market with its O’Mara’s brand cream liqueur.
The brand is aimed mainly at the off-licensing sector rather than pubs, and the age profile of consumers tends to be 25 and older.
Two of its better known brands here include “Shakers” and “Jive.” Now a multi-million-euro business, First Ireland has established itself on the Irish, British, U.S. and continental markets and is looking forward to the next phase of its growth.