As construction begins on the Ahascragh distillery, our new whiskey and gin distillery in Co. Galway, we are excited to launch this ambitious project and announce the creation of up to 100 direct and indirect jobs in East Galway.
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, and Minister of State Anne Rabbitte TD, attended the launch and jointly laid the restoration stone to mark the commencement of this major and innovative project. Works are near completion on The Old Mill Shop & Café, which open its doors this month.
The distillery will provide 20 direct jobs within three years. It will also support a further 60-70 indirect jobs through local supply chains. The project will immediately employ some 30 plus people in construction. The restoration and construction of the old mill will give a short-term jobs boost to the local economy with the creation of full-time sustainable jobs in the long-term.
We are delighted to be working with an expert team on the project including: Organic Architects, MW Control Solutions and, local to the area, Liam Loughrey BE C Eng and McCormack Construction.
Founder Gareth McAllister said: “We are honoured that Ministers McConalogue and Rabbitte will lay the restoration stone of this exciting new project. Irish Whiskey has experienced phenomenal growth in recent years driven by double digit growth in exports. It is now the fastest growing premium spirits category in the world with a growth of 140% over the last decade. We are also aware of the whiskey tourism opportunity with over one million visitors to distilleries in 2019. Michelle and I have spent considerable time working in China and have seen at first hand the boom in demand for new and unique whiskeys and gins.”
Founder Michelle McAllister said “We knew Ahascragh was the right fit when we first visited the beautiful old corn mill. Located in the heart of this small Galway village and on the doorstep of the Wild Atlantic Way, we couldn’t think of a better place to start this journey. We’re really looking forward to welcoming visitors to the distillery and in the meantime getting to know the locals as The Old Mill Shop & Café opens its doors this month.”
Minister McConalogue added: “I warmly welcome the announcement of this new distillery in East Galway and am delighted to support this exciting new venture. Being Minister with responsibility for the food and drink sector, I am heartened such an innovative and pioneering project has come to fruition. Driving a sustainable and balanced regional economic development is a key focus of this Government and the McAllister Distillery is a prime example of the entrepreneurial spirit that is thriving in our food and drink sector. Distilleries like this are needed to meet growing global demand for high quality Irish whiskey, and to meet the targets set out in our food strategies. I am also impressed that the McAllisters bring a wealth of experience and expertise to this business, and their focus on the Asian market will help rebalance our spirit exports. Some 20 years ago there were only 3 distilleries on the island of Ireland, today we have some 42 distilleries.”
Minister Rabbitte concluded: “This is a landmark day for East Galway and Ahascragh. The creation of 30 immediate jobs restoring this wonderful mill will help the local economy to pick up after our long lockdown and the delivery of 20 full time direct jobs is of enormous value to East Galway, in particular to the village of Ahascragh. I am delighted that the company has already employed locally for key positions and that the café and shop will soon be open for business. I wish Michelle and Gareth and all their team the best with this exciting new venture.”