Teacher takes break from his job to distil poitin

Pádraic Ó Griallais’ family from Cois Fharraige have been renowned poitín distillers for six generations. He is passionate about poitín, having learned the craft from his 88-year-old grandfather Jimmí Cherri. Jimmí in turn was handed down the skill by his own grandfather, Micil Chearra.

The enterprise will feature in a documentary entitled Poitín Mhicil to be shown on TG4 on January 1 at 9.30pm. It follows the story of Pádraic Ó Griallais, from Inverin who has managed to get a licence to distil poitín legally.

Pádraic is the only person to hold this licence and he has set up his distilling company in the Oslo in Salthill.

Distilling this native whiskey, the drink of choice for many of our rural-based ancestors is a highly-skilled process, far removed from the “moonshine” image portrayed by some in officialdom who claim it is a dangerous and carelessly produced cheap option made by chancers.

Pádraic now wishes to use his distilling skills to create a poitín that can be sold legally. He has taken a career break from his teaching post to set up a poitín making business in his home place, under the careful eye of his grandfather. He will be using the secret recipe that has been in the Ó Cearra family for generations. Will Pádraic fulfil his dream and will Poitín Mhichíl be a success? Tune into TG4 on Jan 1 to see how he is getting on.

The programme is produced by Scannán Dobharchú:

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