Hand Gel - Credit: Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash

Distilleries Add Hand Gel To Hard Liquor Output To Help Fight Virus

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Distilleries nationwide are lending their considerable weight in the fight against Covid-19 by adding hand sanitisers to their output.

Tullamore-based Mór Irish Gin are beginning to produce sanitiser amid a shortage for medical staff and institutions during the current coronavirus emergency.

In a post, the company said: “Not what you would have expected a month ago, but sure here we are. Due to the shortage of hand sanitiser in Ireland and globally, and as we are in a position to manufacture this in our distillery, we are beginning production and will have supply available ASAP. This will be made at The WHO spec of 75%, for hands and surfaces. This is predominantly being supplied to the healthcare industry however, is there any interest in us also selling excess supply to the public?”

Clonakilty Distillery in Co. Cork is creating sanitisers with an alcohol content of 63%. The first batch of 5,000 bottles will be ready from next week. They will be offered for free to local charities and the company will supply the rest at cost, at first to the local community.

In Co. Leitrim, The Shed Distillery, that makes Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin, will commence the distribution of emergency alcohol and surface cleaner across the region. It will supply alcohol to Ovelle Pharmaceuticals, which will create 12,500 bottles of hand sanitiser gel with this week’s batch.

While Irish Distillers – the company behind Jameson and Powers – said it approached the Department of Health and HSE this week to say they were able to supply “large-scale quantities of alcohol” for free.

“Our distillery in Midleton, together with our partners Mervue Laboratories in Cork, have the necessary products and supply chain available to manufacture large-scale quantities of alcohol gel,” the company said in a statement.

Patricia Callan, director of Drinks Ireland, which represents drinks producers and suppliers around the country, said: “At such an uncertain and challenging time, it’s encouraging to see the drinks industry doing what it can in the effort to tackle Covid-19.

“This fight will require Government, the health and public sector, industry and society all working together on a coordinated response. As an industry, we are committed to doing what we can to help out.”

In Ireland, it’s not just distilleries that are stepping in to help but manufacturer Cosmetic Creations has increased its production of hand sanitiser – called Airmedica – to over 150,000 units a week. It plans to grow that to 200.000 in the coming weeks.

Aiden Corcoran, owner and chief executive of the company said the company wants to “play our part in making sure supply lines of vital products stay open”.