Lives Remembered

Aleck Crichton: from distilling whiskey to sipping tea with WB Yeats

Aleck Crichton recalled having tea with WB Yeats as a boy. Picture from Yeats Society

Aleck Crichton was a whiskey magnate, a sheep farmer, a bank governor and a mountain climber, who once had tea with WB Yeats.

Born in Dublin, but with a lifelong association with Beltra in Co Sligo, the grandson of leading unionist Andrew Jameson joined the family whiskey firm John Jameson & Sons after fighting and being injured as a young man in Normandy in World War II.

At the time Irish whiskey was playing second fiddle to Scotch in Britain and America but as managing director, Crichton brought about a merger with Powers and Cork Distillers to form Irish Distillers, and represented the company at the European Economic Community in Brussels.

He also served as governor of the Bank of Ireland in the early 1960s and was president of Dublin Chamber of Commerce.

After retiring he abandoned city life to become a sheep farmer at the family estate at Carrowgarry in Beltra, where he was heavily involved in community activities.

He was president of the Yeats Society - his grandfather had served in the Seanad with the poet and Aleck recalled visiting his Dublin home as a boy - and he had a keen interest in rock climbing, being the oldest member of the Irish Mountaineering Club.

In 2014 he was conferred with the Legion d'Honneur at the French embassy in Dublin for his war record.

Alexander Crichton died aged 98 on April 18 and was buried at Christ Church Dromard where he had played the organ. Predeceased by his wife Joan, he is survived by four daughters.

Lives Remembered