The Walsh Whiskey Distillery has announced it is splitting the business by separating out the existing drinks brands from the distillery.

The activity will see the Irish directors (founders Bernard Walsh and his wife Rosemary, and drinks industry veteran Pat Rigney) taking full control of the Irish whiskey brands Writers’ Tears and The Irishman, with this part of the business continuing to trade as Walsh Whiskey.

Meanwhile, part-owner Illva Saronno will take full ownership of the distillery, which is renamed ‘Royal Oak Distillery’. Saronno’s objective is to “further enhance Royal Oak as a centre of excellence in Irish whiskey making, by continually improving its technology and processes, producing all three styles: Malt, Pot and Grain under one roof”.

Saronno, an Italian drinks expert whose products include Tia Maria, invested €25 million in Walsh Whiskey for a 50% stake in the business in 2013.

However, the company has now announced that “the Irish and Italian directors differ on how to develop the combined business into the future,” which has led to the decision to separate the drinks brands from the distillery.

The distillery is based at Royal Oak, in Ireland’s County Carlow.