Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links has welcomed thousands of new and returning faces from across the globe since it first opened its doors as a beachside destination. However, its origins stretch back to over a century ago, where the land on which it stands was part of the private family estate of 'St. Marnock's' - where the patriarch of the Irish Jameson Whiskey Company called 'home'.
The Jameson Connection
In 1788, John Jameson (a Scotsman) married the eldest daughter of another powerful Scottish distilling family from a nearby village. Her name was Margaret Haig and together, after their marriage in Scotland, they moved to Dublin where John began working to further develop a huge new Dublin Distillery in Bow Street which had originally opened in 1780. A few years later, in 1810, the Jameson Family bought out other shareholders of the Bow Street distillery and thus began the Jameson Irish Whiskey company. Four of John Jameson’s sons followed their father into distilling in Ireland, John II, James, William and Andrew.
St. Marnock's was the Jameson 'seaside seat' during this time, an ideal escape from the city due to its enviable shoreline doorstep.
King Edward VII often visited the Jameson's at their beachside home and on his last official visit to Ireland in 1907, he unveiled a plaque which was designed especially to mark the occasion of the marriage between members of two great distilling families, Jameson and Haig. The plaque can still be seen in what was then labelled 'The Secret South Garden'.
The Jameson family had a nine-hole golf course on the site over 100 years ago; this golf course is now part of both the Portmarnock Golf Club and the Bernhard Langer-designed Dublin Golf Links course.
Did You Know? (Other Related Historical Facts)
Guglielmo Marconi, inventor of the wireless, was a son of Annie Jameson and as mentioned above, a grandson of the 'fourth son', Andrew.
Aviation: Atlantic Crossing
Portmarnock Beach with its wide, expansive sands witnessed the daring exploits of a number of pioneering aviators. Particularly James Mollison (husband of Amy Johnson) who took off from Portmarnock Beach on the 18th August 1932 for what was acknowledged as the first solo east to west crossing of the Atlantic. He reached the territory of Canada after 31and a half hours.
Over 80 years ago, a group of four under the command of Charles Smith, also started off from the beach of Portmarnock and managed to reach the island of Newfoundland. An Irish captain-navigator, Paddy Soul, was a member of the pilot’s team.