THE MAKERS of Jameson Whiskey are to begin production of hand sanitising gel to help the Health Service Executive (HSE) combat the spread of coronavirus in the country.
Irish Distillers, who make Jameson Whiskey and who make up part of the global drinks group Pernod Ricard, confirmed that they would be temporarily switching to the production of hand sanitiser to assist the national response to the threat of Covid-19.
The company , in partnership with Cork's Mervue Laboratories, will produce and supply the gel completely free of charge to the health service at a time where the product is in such high demand that it is becoming difficult to source.
Rosemary Garth of Irish Distillers said in a company statement that the company had contacted the Department of Health and the HSE earlier in the week to offer their services and that the plan came together rapidly.
"We are going to be making our alcohol available at no cost," Ms Garth said, and "Mervue Labs will be producing just to cover their costs."
"This will enable us to deliver large scale quantities of hand sanitiser to hospitals and health care professionals, that need it not only now but in the times ahead."
She went on to state that Irish Distillers "stand committed to the people and communities of Ireland during this difficult time and we will continue to collaborate with the health authorities so as to ensure our efforts are channelled to greatest effect.
"We are committed to maintaining supply to the maximum levels possible for as long as possible.
"Like so many, Irish Distillers is doing what we can at a time of great national crisis. We hope that in doing so, it helps our healthcare professionals in their efforts to protect all of us from the spread of the virus," a statement from the company concluded.
Ms Garth also reassured people that Irish Distillers would also continue to make whiskey during this time.