Distillery Football Club,
Dunville's and The Echlinville Distillery

The Distillery Football Club was formed in 1880. The directors of Dunville & Co., especially James Barr, gave the football club their support and filled in a waste pond at the back of the distillery to create the club's first football ground. The club was based at Grosvenor Park in Distillery Street until 1971, after which it shared Skegoneill Avenue and Seaview with other clubs. In 1980 it moved to New Grosvenor Stadium, Ballyskeagh, County Antrim.

The Distillery Football Club changed its name in 1999 to Lisburn Distillery Football Club, after the location of its present home ground. Since the 2016–2017 season its back of shirt sponsor has been The Echlinville Distillery, who have resumed the production of Dunville's Whiskey.


Dunville Football Club, Winners of Irish Intermediate Cup, 1932–1933

Dunville Football Club
Winners of Irish Intermediate Cup, Season 1932–1933

Back row: C.H. Armstrong (Hon. Secretary), S. Close, R. Murphy, W. Payne, W. Spence, G. Lyttle, D. Osman (Trainer)
Front row: D. Kelly, J. McCartney, R. Mills (Captain), W.M. Fergusson, Esq. (Patron), R. Cooper, J.S. Finlay, N. Clarke
(R. Clements Lyttle Studios Ltd, 27 Donegall Place, Belfast)

This photograph was very kindly provided by Elliott Clarke, who is a nephew of Norman Clarke (front right).

It seems that the Dunville Football Club had no connection with the Distillery Football Club or Dunville's Whisky, and that their name came from the Dunville Park area, where their members lived. In those days many teams were formed and named after their local area.


Dunville Football and Athletic Club, Limited, 1924 Share Certificate

A 1924 share certificate made its way home to the Distillery Football Club in October 2020, thanks to David and Nora Clyde, who live in New South Wales, Australia.

David kindly gave what information he knew of the background to the certificate in his accompanying letter. The certificate was issued over 96 years ago to Thomas Clyde of 5 Earl Place, a street formerly in The Sailortown area of Belfast, and David wrote "I believe the share was purchased by my grandfather as a birthday present for my father. It looks like it might have been a 9th birthday present for him. Well that is what I like to think.

"My dad was a proud Distillery supporter. I was often told that he was a shareholder but it was not until my parents died that I actually saw the paper to prove he was from a family of Distillery supporters.

"I am very pleased the club is still in existence and will appreciate and look after one of my father's treasured possessions. I hope Distillery supporters get pleasure in looking at a distant part of Distillery's history. Best wishes for a successful future. Stay safe.

"David and Nora Clyde"


Dunville's Irish Whiskey 2020-2021 Player Awards, photograph by David Hunter

Dunville's Irish Whiskey Awards return

With the competitive season set to commence this Saturday we are delighted to announce the return of the popular "Dunville's Irish Whiskey Awards".

This is the fifth season now that the awards have been very generously sponsored by our very good friends at the award-winning Echlinville Distillery on the Ards Peninsula.

Our plan is to continue as we have done in the past with monthly awards, however given uncertainty in the months ahead, changes in fixtures etc we plan to make awards after every three competitive fixtures if there are less than three games in a calendar month.

As we head into the new season it's great to see "The Spirit of Belfast" back and there for the winning.

The previous winners have been:


Published on the BBC News website, 13 October 2020

Echlinville Distillery: Dozens of jobs created in £9m expansion


Lisburn Distillery Football Club's "Buy A Shirt" Scheme (a Dunville's shirt!)

Lisburn Distillery Football Club's "Buy A Shirt" Scheme

Lisburn Distillery Football Club's "Buy A Shirt" Scheme (a Dunville's shirt!)

Details are available from Colin Beattie on ldnetweb@hotmail.co.uk


Dunville's Whiskey Player of the Season 2019-2020: Chris Getty, photograph by David Hunter Dunville's Whiskey Player of the Season 2019-2020: trophy, Dunville's Three Crowns Blended Irish Whiskey, photograph by David Hunter
Chris Getty, photograph by David Hunter

The Dunville's Whiskey Player of the Month for February 2020 was won by Chris Getty. Chris completed a hat-trick, having won the December and January awards. Unfortunately with football postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic no formal presentation could take place. Photograph by David Hunter.


Chris Getty, James McAuley, photograph by David Hunter

The Dunville's Whiskey Player of the Month for January 2020 was won by Chris Getty. Chris (left) also won the December award. He was presented with his award for January by manager Stephen Hatfield. Photograph by David Hunter.


Chris Getty, James McAuley, photograph by David Hunter

The Dunville's Whiskey Player of the Month for December 2019 was won by Chris Getty. Chris (left) was presented with his award by James McAuley, who is a member of the first-team management team. Photograph by David Hunter.


Timmy Clarke, Stephen Hatfield, photograph by David Hunter

The Dunville's Whiskey Player of the Month for November 2019 was won by Timmy Clarke. Timmy (left) was presented with his award by Distillery manager Stephen Hatfield. Photograph by David Hunter.


Jonah Nicholl, Nick O'Neill, photograph by David Hunter

The Dunville's Whiskey Player of the Month for October 2019 was won by Jonah Nicholl. Jonah (left) was presented with his award by Distillery assistant manager Nick O'Neill. Photograph by David Hunter.


Michael O'Hanlon, Stephen Hatfield, photograph by David Hunter

The Dunville's Whiskey Player of the Month for September 2019 was won by Michael O'Hanlon. Michael (left) was presented with his award by Distillery manager Stephen Hatfield. Photograph by David Hunter.


Dunville's VR 18 Year Old Port Mourant Rum Finish Single Malt Irish Whiskey

Dunville's VR 18 Year Old Port Mourant Rum Finish Single Malt Irish Whiskey in a collector's box which also contains a sample of the 41 year old rum from the Port Mourant casks that The Echlinville Distillery refilled with the single malt whiskey, a reproduction Dunville's Whisky mirror, and a limited edition book "Dunville's The Legend".

The Echlinville Distillery have resumed the production of Dunville's Whiskey and they are one of the sponsors of Lisburn Distillery Football Club.


Daire Rooney, Stephen Hatfield, photograph by David Hunter

The Dunville's Whiskey Player of the Month for August 2019 was won by Daire Rooney. Daire (left) was presented with his award by Distillery manager Stephen Hatfield. Photograph by David Hunter.


30 July 2019

Iconic "Dunville's" brand continues to back Distillery

Lisburn Distillery Football Club is delighted to confirm that the award-winning Echlinville Distillery is continuing its much-valued sponsorship and proudly continues as their "Back of Shirt" sponsor for the 2019–2020 season.

Read more on the Lisburn Distillery Football Club website.


Jonah Nicholl, photograph by David Hunter

The Dunville's Irish Whiskey Player of the Year for the 2018–2019 season was announced at the club awards dinner on Saturday 11th May and the winner was goalkeeper Jonah Nicholl. Photograph by David Hunter.


Stephen Hatfield, photograph by David Hunter

New Lisburn Distillery manager Stephen Hatfield. Photograph by David Hunter.

Published on the Lisburn Distillery Football Club website, 23 April 2019

Lisburn Distillery wish to confirm the appointment of Stephen Hatfield, Nick O'Neill and Graeme Steenson as the new management team at New Grosvenor.

All three men worked together previously at Donegal Celtic where they took them to the brink of promotion from the Premier Intermediate League in their first season in the division and it is clearly that sort of performance that we are hoping they will bring to Lisburn Distillery.

Both Stephen and Nick hold UEFA "A" Licences with Nick having been previously at the club under Tommy Wright and Tommy Kincaid.

Following recently held interviews a club spokesperson commented "Stephen and his team displayed a very high level of enthusiasm, determination and knowledge during our recent interview process and we welcome them to the club."


Published on the Lisburn Distillery Football Club website, 5 April 2019

Lisburn Distillery wish to announce that following job offers from another club [Harland & Wolff Welders Football Club] the management team of Colin McIlwaine and George O'Boyle have today tendered their resignations as managers at the club.

The club thanks Mac and George for all their efforts whilst at Distillery and wish them every success for the future.


Aaron Harris, Daire Rooney, Stephen Curley, photograph by David Hunter

The Dunville's Whiskey Player of the Month for March 2019 was won by Daire Rooney. Daire (centre) was presented with his award by Aaron Harris and Stephen Curley (right). Photograph by David Hunter.

David Hunter, Daire Rooney, 13 April 2019

Daire Rooney (right) was interviewed by David Hunter about winning the Dunville's Whiskey Player of the Month award, after the game against Annagh United. Watch the interview on the Lisburn Distillery Football Club Facebook Page.


Colin McIlwaine, Jonah Nicholl, photograph by David Hunter

Jonah Nicholl (right) won the Dunville's Whiskey Player of the Month for February 2019. He is pictured receiving his awards from Lisburn Distillery manager Colin McIlwaine. Photograph by David Hunter.


Colin McIlwaine, Jonny McCaw, photograph by David Hunter

Jonny McCaw (right) won the Dunville's Whiskey Player of the Month for  January 2019. He is pictured receiving his awards from Lisburn Distillery manager Colin McIlwaine. Photograph by David Hunter.


The Echlinville Distillery World Whiskies Awards

World Whiskies Awards
Dunville's Three Crowns Blended Irish Whiskey: Best Irish Blended Whiskey 12 Years and Under
Dunville's VR Single Malt Irish Whiskey: Best Irish Single Malt 12 Years and Under
Dunville's VR Very Rare Single Malt Irish Whiskey: Best Irish Single Malt 13-20 Years

Congratulations to our good friends at The Echlinville Distillery: Dunville's net THREE awards at World Whiskies Awards. More on Dunville's journey so far on Barry Chandler's YouTube video: Stories and Sips, Episode 22: "Echlinville Distillery – Northern Ireland's Whiskey Upstart".


Thomas S Dunville and the Lisburn Distillery Football Club shirtThomas S Dunville and the Lisburn Distillery Football Club shirt

Dunville's, Distillery, through the polar vortex

As our pictures show, our shirt made it safely to Thomas S Dunville,  in Indiana, USA.

Thomas saw our recent shirt advertisement on social media and given his family connection – he can trace his lineage back to William Dumvill who died in 1793 and is buried in Shankill Cemetery, Belfast – he got in touch with a simple message: "I need one of those shirts."

William Dumvill's son, Richard Andrew Dumvill (the family surname was later changed to Dunville), went from Belfast to South Carolina in 1773 – that was a long journey by ship and horseback then. Today our shirt took five days to reach Indiana, making it through last week's polar vortex across the USA (-11° but feeling like -36° with the wind-chill effect in Indiana).

"Thank you again for all the effort" said Thomas from a then very cold part of America. "You have helped me connect to my family's history and the good things it helped create."

Our thanks to Thomas for getting in touch and purchasing one of the last shirts available this season – the Dunville's name (and award-winning whiskey) still to the fore after so many centuries.


Barry Moore, Colin McIlwaine, photograph by David Hunter

The Dunville's Whiskey Player of the Month for December 2018 was won by Barry Moore. He is pictured receiving his awards from Lisburn Distillery manager Colin McIlwaine (right). Photograph by David Hunter.


Colin McIlwaine, Alan McMurtry, George O'Boyle, photograph by David Hunter

The Dunville's Whiskey Player of the Month for November 2018 was Alan McMurtry, pictured receiving his awards from Lisburn Distillery's management team of George O'Boyle (right) and Colin McIlwaine. Photograph by David Hunter.


George O'Boyle, Conor Curran, Colin McIlwaine, photograph by David Hunter

The Dunville's Whiskey Player of the Month for October 2018 was Conor Curran, pictured receiving his awards from Lisburn Distillery's management team of George O'Boyle (left) and Colin McIlwaine. Photograph by David Hunter.


Our Original Team Spirit

On the 31st July 2018, the link between Dunville's and Lisburn Distillery Football Club was strengthened when the club announced that the "Dunville's" name would be on the back of the playing shirts thanks to the continued sponsorship by The Echlinville Distillery. The spirit still flows on and off the pitch.

Lisburn Distillery Football Club shirts, Dunville's logo, Clare Quinn, Terry Thompson, Suzanne McCullough, photograph by David Hunter

Pictured with the 2018-2019 shirts at Echlinville Distillery are Clare Quinn (Sales, The Echlinville Distillery), Terry Thompson (Director, Lisburn Distillery Football Club) and Suzanne McCullough (Marketing, The Echlinville Distillery). Photographs above and below by David Hunter.

Dunville's logo on Lisburn Distillery Football Club shirts

Christopher Dunville and Shane Braniff at The Echlinville Distillery, 5 July 2017

Kindred spirits: Christopher Dunville, great-grandson of Robert Lambart Dunville (1893-1931), the fifth and last chairman of Dunville & Co. Ltd., and Shane Braniff, owner of The Echlinville Distillery, at The Echlinville Distillery on 5 July 2017. Photograph by Sam Christie.

The Echlinville Distillery have resumed the production of Dunville's Whiskey and they are one of the sponsors of Lisburn Distillery Football Club.


Captain Arthur Soames, Princess Anne, Warrant Officer Paul Holliday, Christopher Dunville, Kirsten Young, Hyde Park Barracks, 29 June 2017

Kirsten Young (right), who is a granddaughter of William Gustavus Dunville (1900-1956), meets Princess Anne, the daughter of Queen Elizabeth, at the Dunville VC Ride Pass-Off at Hyde Park Barracks on 29 June 2017. Also, from left to right: Captain Arthur Soames, Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, who is a great-grandson of Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965), Warrant Officer Paul Holliday, Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, and Christopher Dunville, who is a great-grandson of Robert Lambart Dunville (1893-1931). Kirsten gave the jar of maple syrup to Princess Anne. The photograph was taken by Tom Young, Kirsten's husband.


Kirsten Young, Shane Braniff and Tom Young at The Echlinville Distillery on 27 June 2017

Kirsten Young, granddaughter of William Gustavus Dunville (1900-1956) and great-granddaughter of John Dunville Dunville (1866-1929), the fourth chairman of Dunville & Co. Ltd., Shane Braniff, owner of The Echlinville Distillery, and Tom Young, Kirsten's husband, at The Echlinville Distillery on 27 June 2017.

The Echlinville Distillery have resumed the production of Dunville's Whiskey and they are one of the sponsors of Lisburn Distillery Football Club.


Colin McIlwaine, Stephen Curley, George O'Boyle

The Echlinville Distillery Player of the Month for October 2016 was Stephen Curley.

Following a month with three clean sheets, goalkeeper Tony Galbraith and defenders Padraig McParland, Tirrell McCrory, William Wharry, Darren Doherty and Timmy Clarke all scored well, but it was Stephen who came out on top. He received his award from manager Colin McIlwaine (left) and assistant manager George O'Boyle (right).

Congratulations to Stephen on his award.

We would also thank Shane Braniff and our friends at The Echlinville Distillery for sponsoring and providing the monthly awards.

The award this month was a bottle of Dunville's Three Crowns Whiskey – remarkable to think that after so many decades, the Dunville's name and spirit was present in the Distillery dressing room again!

Photograph by David Hunter.


Graeme Millar, Suzanne McCullough, Shane Braniff, 9 August 2016

9 August 2016: The Echlinville Distillery based in The Echlinville Estate near Kircubbin, Northern Ireland is now the back of shirt sponsor for Lisburn Distillery Football Club. Pictured with the club's home shirt at the Echlinville Distillery are Graeme Millar (Echlinville Operations Manager), Suzanne McCullough (Echlinville Office, Sales & Marketing Executive) and Shane Braniff (Owner – Echlinville Distillery). Photograph by David Hunter.


Published in the Belfast Telegraph, 3 June 2014

Echlinville Distillery to create 15 jobs and export drinks globally

By Clare Weir

A whiskey distillery in Co Down – only the second to open in Northern Ireland – is investing £1.5m and creating 15 jobs as it aims to sell its drinks all over the world.

This year Echlinville Distillery in Kircubbin, Co Down, was granted the first licence to distil spirits in Northern Ireland in over 130 years – and could soon expand to include a restaurant, museum and visitors' centre.

Managing director Shane Braniff launched the successful Feckin Irish Whiskey brand in 2005, which has become a huge hit in the USA, where demand for Irish whiskey is skyrocketing.

The company is now planning a range of drinks which can be sold almost immediately – without having to wait the three years for whiskey to mature – and also plans to develop a premium and super premium malt whiskey. Mr Braniff founded Echlinville Distillery in 2012 on his own 18-acre estate, located at Rubane in Kircubbin.

He said he also intends to open a visitor centre and whiskey museum and restaurant to draw more tourists to the Ards Peninsula.

"Irish whiskey is now the fastest growing brown spirit worldwide and demand is currently out-stripping supply in the US and many other markets," he said.

"In addition to the existing Feckin whiskey brands, we have recently relaunched Dunville VR Irish Whiskey, once one of the best known brands, until the closure of the distillery in Belfast that produced the spirit over 80 years ago.

"The Dunville whiskey is also unique in that is the only one distilled using grain barley that we are growing at Kircubbin.

"This ensures complete traceability and provenance of all our spirits.

"We are also sourcing as much equipment and other supplies from other Northern Ireland businesses. Echlinville Distillery will step up production of Irish whiskey and other spirits for export within the next few months.

"The company has recently launched a Patron's Promise initiative that provides whiskey devotees and investors the opportunity to buy casks of malt in advance of official launch."

Invest NI has offered Echlinville Distillery over £216,000 in management and marketing support towards the project and the company has also recently benefited from research and development assistance.

The export drive comes amidst a renewed interest in Northern Ireland's brewing and distilling industries.

Last week, Rademon Estate Distillery officially launched its first product, Shortcross gin, while Hercules Brewing Company has announced it is creating a new Belfast-inspired lager called Yardsman.


Christopher Dunville at Lisburn Distillery Football Club, 27 November 2004

On Saturday 27 November 2004, Christopher Dunville, great-grandson of Robert Lambart Dunville (1893-1931), the fifth and last chairman of Dunville & Co. Ltd., visited Lisburn Distillery Football Club and presented fifteen silver platters to the top goal scorers (fifty or more goals). The event also celebrated the forthcoming 125th anniversary of the founding of the club.
Back row: Darren Armour, Peter Watson, Jim McCloskey, Joe Meldrum, Gerry McCaffrey, Tom Cleland, Ferris Lunn.
Front row: Philip Dykes, Francis Smith, Bertie McMinn, Christopher Dunville, Joy Collins (daughter of all-time Distillery goal-scorer Sam "Bull" McAdam), Roy Welsh, Johnny Cochrane, Dawson Simpson (club historian). Centre front: Dillon Cummins. Photograph by David Hunter.


Old map of west Belfast showing Dunville & Co.'s Royal Irish Distilleries to the left of the centre, the Distillery Football Club Ground to the north of it, and Dunville Park at the top left.

Part of a painting, showing the Distillery Football Club Ground. To the lower right of the football ground there is a sign which reads "Distillery Footba", with the "ll" hidden behind a building. The tall chimney in the foreground is part of the Royal Irish Distilleries.


Much of the information on this page, and many of the photographs, were very kindly provided by Terry Thompson and David Hunter.


See also:

The Dunvilles of Northern Ireland and Dunville's Whisky

Lisburn Distillery Football Club

Lisburn Distillery Football Club Facebook Page

The Echlinville Distillery

WEBSITE BY JILL HOLROYD AND MILES
LAST MODIFIED: 23 DECEMBER 2020