Donegal is getting its first distillery in 175 years

Ireland's whiskey revival is gaining momentum...

Donegal is getting its first distillery in 175 years

CSarchitecture.ie / Sliabh Liag

The Irish Whiskey Association has welcomed news that planning permission has been granted for the Sliabh Liag Distillery in south-west Donegal.

This will be the first operating distillery in the county in 175 years, as Ireland's craft spirit revolution sweeps across the island.

Sliabh Liag Founder and CEO is James Doherty has previously held senior positions with Fosters and SABMiller.

Irish whiskey production has enjoyed strong growth as drinkers have embraced emerging local brands.

Six distilleries are currently in production and a further 13 are in planning in 18 counties across Ireland.

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This represents a major turn around - as recently as 2013 there were only four distilleries in operation in the country.

The distillery has already launched its first drink, a blended Irish Whiskey named The Silkie. It plans to release four more products, each of them is "inspired by local folklore and are in keeping with the Donegal Gaeltacht Tradition."

Commenting on the announcement Carleen Madigan, of the Irish Whiskey Association said, “It's fantastic news that Sliabh Liag have secured permission to build their new distillery. This is yet another example of the Irish whiskey success story which will boost tourism and  employment in Donegal and support the local economy.

"Irish whiskey is the fastest growing premium spirit in the world. Global sales have increased by over 300% in the last ten years and have been growing by double-digits since the mid-1990s. Over €1bn will be invested in Irish whiskey distillery projects between 2010 and 2025. New distilleries will bring new brands, adding more diversity to the category and will continue to drive the growth of the sector."

In December of last year the 'Irish whiskey Tourism Strategy' was launched - it hopes to bring 1.9 million visitors to Irish distilleries by 2025.