Magner’s Irish Cider
Commercial cider production was started in Clonmel, South Tipperary in 1935, by local man William Magner. Magner bought the orchard from a Mr Phelan from Clonmel. Magner quickly established a successful cider factory in Dowds Lane, Clonemel. In 1937 English cider-makers H. P. Bulmer purchased a 50% share in the business, using their expertise to greatly increase production. After the war in 1946, Bulmers purchased the remaining 50%, changing the name to Bulmers Ltd Clonmel. H.P. Bulmer maintained international rights to the Bulmers trade mark, so that any exports were carried out via the parent company rather than directly exported from Ireland. In the 1960s H. P. Bulmer produced a “Champagne perry” product in direct competition with Babycham, owned by Showerings Ltd of Shepton Mallet. Showerings challenged this in court, and H.P. Bulmer lost the case. In 1964 they were forced to sell Bulmers Clonmel to Guinness and Allied Breweries, parent company of Showerings. The company name was changed to Showerings (Ireland) Ltd. Soon after, the company moved its main processing operations to a new complex at Annerville, five kilometres east of Clonmel, which was opened in 1965 by the then Taoiseach, Seán Lemass. Today the Bulmers/Magners arm of C&C Group plc employs more than 470 people and is a substantial part of the economic infrastructure of Clonmel. Magners is not the same as Bulmers; it is owned by C&C, one of Ireland’s biggest drinks companies.