Taoiseach Enda Kenny has announced the establishment of the first new whiskey distillery in Connaught for over a century.
18 full time jobs are to be created in the small village of Lahardaun, Co. Mayo by Nephin Whiskey Company with a further 30 temporary positions during the construction phase.
A visitor centre at the site will attract up to 40,000 visitors per year creating opportunities for other small businesses in the area.
The project involves the renovation of several vacant buildings in the village, including a stone granary from the 1800s.
Welcoming the boost to the area An Taoiseach said:
Broader economic recovery will be driven by small businesses creating high quality local jobs. I’m delighted that the announcement here today by Nephin Whiskey Company was made possible with the assistance of the Mayo Local Enterprise Office and with the support of the local community. The Government considers Irish food and drink production as one of the most important domestic industries for the country and we have seen exports increase by nearly 20% since 2011. Nephin Whiskey Company is a perfect example of how we can use our natural strengths to broaden recovery and create jobs.