How was West Cork Distillers set up?

Myself and two childhood friends, Denis and Ger McCarthy, set up the business in 2003. We would have grown up within 150m of each other down in Union Hall in west Cork. I studied chemistry in college only to realise that there were no jobs near home and with Denis and Ger’s fishing industry coming under pressure, the three of us came together and started up a distilling business. There has always been a tradition of artisan food and beverage production down here in west Cork, so the idea kind of stemmed from that. We started off just producing whiskey, which is still our flagship product. But maturing whiskey takes time, meaning that revenue didn’t come in straight away. So we also decided to start producing vodka, poitín and gin.