Irish police have cracked down on Connemara moonshiners – for the first time in almost 30 years.
Poitin makers in the Irish speaking Galway stronghold were shocked when police arrived on their doorsteps.
The first raid on moonshiners since 1984 was prompted by a flood of ‘poor quality’ poitin into the West of Ireland region.
The economic downturn has led to a huge surge in the demand for the traditional moonshine but some recent production has been exposed as ‘poor’ according to sources.
As a result, police seized and destroyed poitin wash and still equipment in a raid on a disused shed near Leitir Moir in south Connemara last month.
The police made their move on the ‘mountain dew’ factory on commonage land after reports of a particularly ‘dangerous’ batch of the illicit drink being on sale.
A police spokesperson told the Irish Independent: “Poitin making equipment, a still and a worm were seized, as well as barrels of prepared wash and a barrel of poitin. Investigations are ongoing.
“Poitin is produced illegally under uncontrolled circumstances and we would advise people against consuming it.”
The paper reports that glass bottles of ‘regular’ poitin are available for around $15 while locals have expressed concern about very poor quality batches of the moonshine, which sell for around $7 per bottle.
“There is a growing availability of poor quality poitin. It’s like drinking pure ethanol,” one local told the paper.
Police raids on poitin makers were common place throughout the 1960s and 1970s.
Famously, poitin makers broke into the police station in Inverin and stole poitin which had been seized 24 hours earlier.