| 9.9°C Dublin

Donegal distillery raises a glass to its €1.5m funding bid

 

Close

Sliabh Liag Distillers’ team (L-R) Marion McGinley, Deirdre Byrne, James Keith, Moira and James Doherty, Agnes Cunningham and Sean Hanrahan

Sliabh Liag Distillers’ team (L-R) Marion McGinley, Deirdre Byrne, James Keith, Moira and James Doherty, Agnes Cunningham and Sean Hanrahan

Sliabh Liag Distillers’ team (L-R) Marion McGinley, Deirdre Byrne, James Keith, Moira and James Doherty, Agnes Cunningham and Sean Hanrahan

Sliabh Liag Distillers, a gin and whiskey company based in Carrick, Co Donegal, is looking to raise €1.5m for its new distillery in nearby Ardara.

The company, founded by James and Moira Doherty, is preparing to launch the crowdfunding round toward the end of August.

The distillery counts John Davidson and Dominic De Lorenzo, both formerly of drinks giant SAB Miller, among its investors. The late Oliver Hughes, who founded the Porterhouse chain of pubs, was also a founder of the company. His wife, Helen Stacey, remains a shareholder.

Sliabh Liag Distillers secured planning permission to build the Ardara distillery and visitor centre in August last year, as it sought to bring whiskey production back to the county for the first time since the closure of Burt Distillery in 1841. It has been reported that the new distillery could create as many as 40 new jobs in the area.

It is not the first time the distillery has pushed to raise funds. Last November, it was reported Sliabh Liag Distillers would look to raise €3.5m, with the new distillery project set to cost €10m.

Sliabh Liag Distillers, which has brands including An Dúlamán Maritime Gin and Silkie blended Irish whiskey, is made from liquid distilled at the Great Northern Distillery, Co Louth. It is also celebrating recently filling its first cask of whiskey.

"It's a mixture of relief and excitement," said Mr Doherty. "It's got that smokey sweetness straight off the still that we wanted, it has the makings of an amazing whiskey. It's in the style of what my granddad, who used to distil whiskey illegally in Donegal, would have made. It's come full circle coming back to Donegal.

"We are really positive about the funding round. We have really good momentum in the business. If you look at the backers we have already from the drinks industry, we are in a great place, notwithstanding the turmoil the world is in right now."

He told the Sunday Independent Sliabh Liag is active in 20 markets across the world, with Silkie landing in the US last week. He added that he hopes to make Donegal to Ireland's whiskey sector what Islay is to the Scottish whisky market.

Sunday Indo Business