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Irish distilleries make hand sanitiser gel to fight Covid-19

Bars and pubs in the Republic have been asked by the Government to close until March 29 in a bid to slow down the virus.

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Distillers are helping to make hand sanitisers (Ben Birchall/PA)

Distillers are helping to make hand sanitisers (Ben Birchall/PA)

Distillers are helping to make hand sanitisers (Ben Birchall/PA)

Irish distilleries are fighting against Covid-19 by making hand sanitisers.

It comes after bars in the Republic were asked by the Government to close their doors last Sunday.

The decision to close pubs until March 29 followed discussions with industry representatives who said it would be too difficult to implement social distancing while pubs remain open.

In West Cork, Clonakilty Distillery is creating sanitisers with an alcohol content of 63% ABV and is going into production immediately, with bottles and equipment in place.

The first batch of 5,000 bottles will be ready from next week.

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.Patricia Callan

They will be offered for free to local charities and the company will supply the rest at cost, at first to the local community,

Also in Co Cork, Irish Distillers has said that it is creating large scale quantities of alcohol for free to manufacture hand sanitiser gel, in partnership with Cork firm Mervue Laboratories which will provide it to the Health Service Executive.

In Co Leitrim, The Shed Distillery 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.

A number of other distilleries and drinks producers across the country are also gearing up to manufacture hand sanitiser gel, once they have complied with the necessary regulations and sourced the other components.

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.”

PA