Gaeltacht Island Gets Approval For €7m Whiskey Distillery
Cork's Cape Clear, a Gaeltacht island which is just three miles long by one mile wide and with a population of around 130 people, has been granted planning permission for a €7 million whiskey distillery and visitor centre.
The application was put forward by Cape Clear Co-Op and supported financially by the island community, however it faced many difficulties such as losing its main investor before ultimately being approved.
The Co-Op sought a "171 square metre mash house, a 236 square metre fermentation building, shop, 745 square metres for cask storage, all ranging from one to three storeys in height," as well as a balcony area which would allow visitors to see the whole distilling process, reports the Irish Examiner.
Speaking about the application previously, Cape Clear's Co-Op project manager Séamus Ó Drisceoil said the distillery would raise the profile of the island globally, create 15 direct jobs and increase tourism-related employment. It's hoped that the distillery would also result in sustainable employment for the island which has faced a decline in employment and population over the years.
The Co-Op is now seeking external investors to finalise funding for Ireland's first island-based distillery. Looking across the waters, one can see the effect that Scotland's island distilleries, such as Islay and Jura, have had on creating employment and in attracting tourists.