Donegal’s Sliabh Liag Distillers are joining the national effort to fight COVID-19 by pivoting production from their award-winning spirits to make hand sanitiser for Donegal’s hospitals, essential services and front-line staff.
The Carrick facility normally produces gin, whiskey and vodka, but the health crisis has inspired them to use their equipment to make effective sanitiser at 70% alcohol, enriched with local seaweed extracts for their skin conditioning properties.
Owners James and Moira Doherty are donating 1,000 litres to Donegal’s essential services and offering the remainder for sale to the public online.
Moira Doherty, a former healthcare worker, said they have been delighted to make the switch:
“We have scaled back our normal production and diverted our attention to supporting front-line staff in their unprecedented efforts to protect us from the spread of this virus.”
“Hand sanitiser is essential for our health service, but it must be made of a minimum 60% alcohol to be effective. We realised we are in a unique position to help our local services and community here in Donegal and we’re donating 1,000 litres to Donegal’s essential services.” she said.
“We have been working with Rosaria at Algaran Teoranta in Glencolmcille, utilising her extensive knowledge to create an effective sanitiser at 70% alcohol, enriched with local seaweeds to make it kinder to the skin.
“To meet the public demand, it’s essential that hand sanitiser is available and the fact that we can produce it locally will help mitigate against any supply chain issues that may arise down the line. Donegal County Council and the Revenue have been supportive of this project from the outset,” Moira said.
“There is an overwhelming sense of community in Donegal, which is why we chose it as our home. We are all in these uncertain times together and as a former midwife, I’m delighted to be able to do our bit for our front-line staff and health-care workers, to help protect them as they save lives,” she added.
Meanwhile, in spite of the global pandemic, the directors at Sliabh Liag Distillers are pressing ahead with plans for the new distillery in Ardara.
“It is unlikely we will be open this year with the restrictions that are currently in place,” said Managing Director, James Doherty, “but we have commenced work on the site and remain resolute that, as soon as possible, we will build the whiskey distillery and get into scale production of Irish Whiskey in Ardara.”
To buy sanitiser visit: www.sliabhliagdistillers.com/shop