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New whiskey for milestone Kilmichael anniversary

December 20th, 2020 9:45 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

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IT seems only fitting that a Castletown publican – whose family on both sides had such a strong connection with the Kilmichael Ambush – should come with up with a whiskey to mark its milestone anniversary.

The ‘Flying Column’ whiskey is the brainchild of John ‘Cookie’ O’Callaghan, who runs his own bar in the village.

Keen to do something to remember this important and significant event in local and national history, John contacted West Cork Distillers about producing this limited edition whiskey in praise of the Flying Column that were part of the 3rd West Cork Brigade.

‘There is a long history of my family’s involvement with the participants of the Kilmichael ambush and my grandparents tended to the dying and the dead on that day in my mother’s house. My grandfather was also friends with Tom Barry. The volunteers who died at it – Michael McCarthy, Jim Sullivan and Pat Deasy – are buried here in Castletown-Kinneigh graveyard,’ John said.

‘I was delighted that West Cork Distillers came on board and they agreed to produce  250 bottles of whiskey for me and I am very happy with the finished product which features a picture of Tom Barry on the front label.’

Three IRA volunteers and 11 auxiliaries died at the Kilmichael Ambush on November 28th 1920 but events to mark this centenary were curtailed by Covid-19 restrictions.

‘In normal circumstances I would have been selling the bottles here in the bar in the lead-up to the anniversary. But because of Covid-19 it will have to be sold online.’

The bottle of whiskey will retail at approximately €70 and will be sold in a special presentation box that will also contain a historical leaflet about the Kilmichael Ambush. Each box will be numbered from one to 250 and orders will be available from Friday  December 11th.

For more see irishmalts.com. Some are also on sale from Cookies in Castletown.

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