Irish Distillers are showing the best of Irish spirits as they turn their skills to the production of hand sanitizer to help with demand during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The producers of Jameson and Powers whiskey, along with smaller distillers around Ireland, are now providing the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE) with large-scale quantities of alcohol gel to help combat the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. 

Irish Distillers approached the Department of Health and the HSE to inform them that they were in a position to help with this specific challenge. Thus far, an impressive 55,000 250ml units have been delivered to the HSE from Irish Distillers and 120,000 units will be delivered every week from now on, free of charge. 

“The demand for alcohol gel is at unprecedentedly high levels and is set to remain so for the foreseeable period. Alcohol gel plays a vital part in the frontline efforts of those who are fighting to contain the Covid-19 virus, not least our healthcare professionals working in hospital and other healthcare settings," Irish Distillers said in a statement. 

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Hand sanitizer plays a vital part in the frontline efforts of those who are fighting to contain the COVID-19 virus. It is, of course, especially important, for healthcare professionals working in hospitals.

Irish distillers have started production of large amounts of hand sanitizer for health workers.

Irish distillers have started production of large amounts of hand sanitizer for health workers.

“Our distillery in Midleton, together with our partners Mervue Laboratories in Cork, have the necessary products and supply chain available to manufacture large-scale quantities of alcohol gel and to make this available for use by healthcare authorities on the frontline in the period ahead," they explained. 

“We stand committed to the people and communities of Ireland during this difficult time and we will continue to collaborate with the health authorities so as to ensure our efforts are channeled to greatest effect. We are committed to maintaining supply to the maximum levels possible for as long as possible.

“Like so many, Irish Distillers is doing what we can at a time of great national crisis. We hope that in doing so, it helps our healthcare professionals in their efforts to protect all of us from the spread of the virus.”

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Smaller companies are also lending a hand. Listoke Distillery & Gin School, in County Louth, told TodayFM that they've decided to switch from primarily making Gin to manufacturing hand sanitizer. 

Since last Saturday the distillery has manufactured thousands of liters. Bronagh Conlon, the company's co-founder is a breast cancer survivor. She said she was first motivated to make the hand sanitizer for herself but soon realized that this was something she could do to help others.

She told the press the company is covering the costs and that production will continue for the coming months and well into the latter part of 2020. 

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* Originally published on March 19, 2020.