Garda search targets illegal moonshine operation in Cork city
The illegal hooch was being sold for over €10 per bottle.
On Wednesday morning, Gardaí conducted a search at an apartment in Cork city in connection with illicit alcohol being sold to people sleeping rough.
According to An Garda Síochána, homeless people were being sold the alcohol for anywhere between €10-€13 per bottle, and as much as 240 litres of the product was being sold each week. The moonshine was being sold in 500ml bottles labelled "Irish Spring Water."
Gardaí have reported that the alcohol being supplied is suspected to be of a high strength, and that it has not undergone any of the necessary quality controls.
Detective Inspector Daniel Coholan spoke to Neil Prendeville of RedFM and reported that anyone drinking the product would "pass out quite quickly" after consuming it. Gardaí have been investigating the matter since June and have identified a 36-year-old suspect who travelled around Cork city distributing the product.
The product was colloquially referred to as "Russian poitín" or "Polish poitín."
During the course of the search, authorities seized a quantity of homemade alcohol, hundreds of bottles for packaging, a quantity of cash and a baton.
The operation was conducted in conjunction with several other government agencies, including Revenue, Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) and the Heath Service Executive (HSE). All departments are conducting separate investigations into the matter.
Revenue investigations relating to excise matters are ongoing, while FSAI and HSE will investigate with a view to a prosecution from a public health concern.
No arrests have been made at this time, Gardaí have confirmed.