Page last updated at 06:22 GMT, Wednesday, 23 April 2008 07:22 UK

Bank raises glass to famous drink

Bushmills bank note

The Bank of Ireland is raising a glass to Northern Ireland's most famous whiskey with its new bank notes.

The bank's new 5 note marks the 400th anniversary of the licence to distil whiskey granted to the area around Bushmills in 1608.

New 10 and 20 notes will begin circulating from next month.

All three denominations feature an artist's rendering of the famous Bushmills distillery on the back.

It is the first time in 18 years that Bank of Ireland Northern Ireland has re-designed its local notes.

Richard Burrows, the governor of Bank of Ireland, said: "Old Bushmills Distillery has a proud record of achievement as an exporter and has helped put Northern Ireland on the map around the world.

"As the main employer in Bushmills and a tourist attraction in its own right, the distillery stands out as one of Northern Ireland's most successful export businesses.

"The distillery symbolises both Northern Ireland's heritage and its business acumen."

An image of the new notes has been erected on the outside of the bank's Northern Ireland headquarters in Donegall Square South in Belfast.

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