IRISH sausages are on a roll after beating off sizzling competition at European level.
Local craft butchers Hugh Maguire, of Ashbourne, Co Meath, have been awarded a top honour as the producers of the best sausage in Europe.
The family business beat off hundreds of sausage makers across Germany, France, Italy and the UK to take Supreme Champion at the European Sausage Championship.
Mr Maguire started the business in 1991 and the company, employs a staff of eight, including Hugh's wife Caroline and his brother William. The traditional sausage that won top honours retails at €7.99 a kilo.
"This was the Oscar of the sausage awards," he told the Herald.
He added that the award was good news in the week that Dublin sausage company Olhaussen shut down with the loss of jobs.
"It is very unfortunate, I have no doubt there were investors there to continue the business," he said.
But Mr Maguire said that there is a bright future for local high street butchers around Ireland.
"The craft of sausage-making is really being recognised and how good we are here," he said.
Dave Lang, from the Associated Craft Butchers of Ireland at Teagasc Food Research Centre, said that it was a major coup for the industry in Ireland.
"The Irish sausage is now recognised as the best in Europe," he said.