Standing room only on Wednesday night in Carrick Old School for a public meeting to share views on the loss of a new distillery for the area Picture: Matt Britton
More than 200 people attended a public meeting regarding the Sliabh Liag Distillery relocation issue, which was held in the Old School, Carrick, on Wednesday evening.
James Doherty of the Sliabh Liag Distillery told those gathered that while he appreciated their support, he could not now see how the decision to relocate from Carrick to Ardara could be reversed.
Referencing the Carrick site (known as the Bull Field), he said: “We have full planning permission for “the Bull Field but have encountered a lot of bumps on the road."
He said he could confirm that they had bought the Showfield in Ardara. He added that they have received a tremendous reaction from the local community in Ardara and have met with the architects.
"I would not have made this decision to move if I had been able to find an alternative. It was so hard for us - this is our home, a place where our kids go to school, this is where we are emotionally tied," he said.
However, he added: "I cannot see any way how we can change our decision.”
He said he wished to clarify that the meeting was not organised by the distillery for the distillery. "It was convened by members of the local community and I am deeply gratified bey the overwhelming support shown here tonight," he said.
The meeting, described as the largest in terms of attendance, was chaired by Liam O Cuinneagain and attended by Cllrs Niamh Kennedy, Noel Jordan and John Campbell. Messages of support were received by Minister Joe McHugh and Deputy Thomas Pringle while apologies were also sent by Leas Cheann Comhairle Pat the Cope Gallagher, Cllr. Michael Naughton and Cllr. Tom Conaghan.
After a lengthy discussion involving the audience and the local public representatives, the following motion was proposed and adopted unanimously: "That ‘Coiste Forbartha na Carraige’ (Carrick Development Committee) convene an extraordinary General Meeting next Monday night (24th September), at 8pm to elect a committee representing the views and aspirations of the community as expressed here. The meeting should be open to the public and attended by Development Committee members."