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Co Fermanagh distillery secures investment and producers hand sanitiser for frontline fight

Joe McGirr

A Co Fermanagh distillery has secured a fresh investment of more £600,000 and is now producing a new range of hand sanitiser in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Boatyard Distillery has secured the investment through the Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN) from private investors and Co-Fund II.

Situated at Tully Bay Marina on the shores of Lough Erne, The Boatyard Distillery was set up in 2016 and currently produces Boatyard Double Gin, Old Tom Gin and vodka. The company has secured deals with supermarket chains M&S and Waitrose to stock their products across the UK and Ireland.

In response to the coronavirus crisis, The Boatyard Distillery has also diversified and started using ethanol it normally uses in drinks production to manufacture hand sanitiser, to World Health Organization specifications.

Boatyard has given away more than 1,200 litres of sanitiser to front line services in Fermanagh including to NHS key workers and supermarket staff and is now selling the product to customers in other industries, both locally and internationally.

The sanitiser will be stocked in Tesco stores in Northern Ireland from this week.

“We are really pleased to secure this investment and excited about the unique experience our new investors will bring, particularly when it comes to growing our presence overseas,” Joe McGirr, founder of The Boatyard Distillery, said.

“The gin market remains highly competitive but we offer something different, with some botanicals grown on the family farm.

“Right now, Covid-19 has interrupted some of our immediate plans but we have responded to the situation by being innovative and using our expertise to produce a product that is not only in high demand but which our health service and key workers desperately need. We are pleased to play our part in the fight against Covid-19 by donating supplies to help those people on the frontline doing great work for everyone in the Fermanagh region.”