There are hopes that the sod on the site of a new €6m distillery in south Donegal can be turned before the end of this year.
It’s after planning permission was granted to Sliabh Liag Distillers for its new distillery in Ardara, which is expected to create at least 40 jobs.
Sliabh Liag Distillers produce An Dúlamán Irish Maritime Gin and The Legendary Silkie Irish Whiskey.
Led by company directors, James and Moira Doherty and James Keith, construction for the whiskey distillery is scheduled to start toward the end of this year, with distilling operations commencing in 2020.
The granting of planning permission for a new distilery at the Show Field in Ardara will see the return of whiskey distilling to Donegal for the first time in 177 years.
The new distillery building has been designed by Corner Stone Architecture to complement the village and its natural surroundings.
The aim is to encourage visitors to park in the village of Ardara, walk along the Owentocker river, across a new footbridge and into the Show Field.
James Doherty says the focus will very much be brining people into the village.
The visitor experience will include a poitín history, tasting bar and shop, and will be an additional reason for tourists on the Wild Atlantic Way to stop in Ardara.
The new distillery will have the capacity to produce 400,000 litres of pure alcohol per annum, which equates to approximately 1700 filled casks, and over 1.2m bottles of whiskey when the spirit is finally sold.
The company’s operation in Carrick, where it produces An Dúlamán Irish Maritime Gin and Assaranca Vodka, as well as bottling their Silkie Irish Whiskey, will move to the new building upon completion.
There will be no café or restaurant, with visitors encouraged to make use of the many offerings in the village of Ardara.