Connacht’s first whiskey in 104 years launched at the ‘Shed’

Connacht’s first whiskey in 104 years has been launched at The Shed Distillery of PJ Rigney at the Food Hub in Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim.

The whiskey was officially launched today by the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring. He also unveiled plans for a €1.5 million visitor centre, which is due to open at the distillery next year.

The Shed Distillery is one of a number of start-up businesses that are based at the Food Hub, which was established in 2004 and has become one of Ireland’s premier artisan multi-tenant food production and enterprise centres, according to the department.

Over €280,000 has been allocated by the department to support the Food Hub in Drumshanbo.

Minister Ring was very encouraged to see the “great progress” at the Food Hub, and at The Shed Distillery in particular.

“This excellent initiative is testament to the hard work and dedication of Pat and Denise Rigney – and the determination of the local community here in Drumshanbo – to build a future for themselves and generations to come.

“My department has allocated over €280,000 to support the Food Hub in Drumshanbo over the last two years. From small beginnings, the Food Hub is thriving and now has over 70 people working out of it.

The Shed Distillery, which is part of the hub, has been particularly successful and employs 18 people – with further support staff based in Dublin. The enormous success of ‘Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin’ which is produced in The Shed Distillery is an extraordinary story.

“I will continue to support this proactive approach and facilitate sustainable development of rural communities all over Ireland.

“This excellent initiative is very close to another very innovative project, the Acres Lake Boardwalk that received funding through the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme in 2016 and was opened earlier this year,” the minister said.

Projects such as this demonstrate a measured collaboration between the local authority, the local community and business interests, Minister Ring explained.

Concluding, he said: “Projects such as these are indicative of a real proactive approach to development that is evident in Leitrim and throughout this region.

“The benefits will be felt by the entire community through employment and increased economic activity in the area.”