by Louise Doyle
THE green light has been given to distillery plans in Donegal.
Applicant Vega and Wallace Limited, trading as the Muff Liquor Company, lodged proposals with Donegal County Council in July for the change of use of an existing car sales building to a distillery.
The proposed plans also comprised an on-site bottling facility, retail shop, offices and a gin experience area with associated signage and elevational amendments to existing facades and all site development works in Muff.
Donegal County Council has granted permission to the development, subject to seven conditions.
In the interest of public safety, the applicant has been asked that prior to commencement of development the person taking the benefit of the permission shall submit proposals for the harvesting of rainwater on site to the Planning Authority for written agreement and thereafter shall implement said agreed details in accordance with the agreed proposals prior to first commencement of use.
Opening hours of the premises shall be confined to between 8.30am and 6.20pm between Monday to Saturday and 10am to 5pm on Sundays in order to comply with the interests of residential amenity.
A further stipulation is that no additional development shall take place above roof parapet level including telecommunication aerials, antennas or equipment, unless authorised by a further grant of planning permission in order to protect the visual amenity of the area.
The go-ahead of the development in Muff will undoubtedly be a boost for the award wining premium Irish gin, whiskey and vodka spirits, adding to the portfolio distilleries around the county which attracts thousands of tourists to the county every year.
The story of Muff Liquor dates back to the 20th Century when Philip McClenaghan farmed the bountiful soil in the fields around his native Greencastle.
It was there he grew one of the finest examples of the staple held dear by Irish people – the potato.
Though Philip was more than familiar with potatoes, little did he know their potential to create one of the finest gins and vodkas the world has ever seen.
Inspired by the past and driven by future, Philip’s granddaughter Laura Bonner, CEO of The Muff Liquor Company, now continues his storied tradition of making a product born of the land and crafted by hand.
Her ambition is to make sure The Muff Liquor Company is a testament to the hardworking values of Philip McClenaghan. His image now adorns the label of their bottle.