Castleknock College Union

Paul Smithwick, Class '64

Mar 9, 2022
Paul Smithwick, Class '64 -

The Union was deeply saddened to learn of the recent passing of pastman Paul Smithwick (Class of '64).

Paul was a member of the famous Smithwick family, One of four brothers who attended Knock, he went on to train in the law after completing his studies at the College. He was admitted as a solicitor in 1970 and by 1972 was a partner in the Dublin firm of T. G. McVeagh & Co. where he stayed for four years before opening a practice of his own, Smithwick & Co. in South Frederick Street, Dublin.

Paul and his brother Peter were the ninth generation of the family associated with the famous Smithwick's brewery, and the last as their father sold the business to Guinness in 1965. However, it was not to be the end of their brewing story for in 2013 when Diageo ceased brewing Smithwick's in Kilkenny, the Smithwick and Sullivan families came together to resuscitate the Sullivan's Brewing Company, which was perhaps the only Irish brewer of ale that was older than Smithwick's itself. Paul took on the role of Chairman.

He also served as chairman and director of several other companies in the private, public and state sector including Unicorn Mineral Resources, Ovoca Resources, Grosvenor Waste Management, Coillte, and Balcas Timber Company.

On the philanthropic front, he was chairman of the chamber music board of Camerata Ireland, which runs the Barry Douglas Orchestra; involved with the Mayo Peace Park; and along with the Duke of Abercorn, set up Bonds of Friendship which had the aim of bringing together members of An Garda Síochána, the PSNI, the Irish Army and the British Army regiment, the Irish Guards. on a social basis, with a view to promoting the peace process.

In 2016, he was awarded an O.B.E. in the New Years Honours List for services to the bilateral relationship between Ireland and the United Kingdom. To mark the awarding of the O.B.E. a black tie dinner was held at the Smithwick brewery visitor centre in Kilkenny, hosted by his brother, Judge Peter Smithwick, with the British Ambassador to Ireland, Robin Barnett as the guest of honour.

That was the latest in many honours for Paul. In 1975 he was was conferred with the Hereditary Freedom of the City of Kilkenny and in 1976 was invested as a Knight of Malta.

In his spare time, Paul was a keen golfer (holding an honorary life membership of the K Club) and squash player as well as taking part in fishing and shooting when he had the opportunity.

In recent times, Paul had been involved in a significant effort with his friend Lord Iveagh to rescue the Iveagh Markets located in The Liberties in Dublin. It was indicative of his selfless devotion to causes larger than himself.

Paul was a wonderful ambassador for the College and a pastman we were very proud of. The Union expresses its condolences to his family.

The link below is to an obituary published in The Irish Times.

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