Tuesday, 12th May 2020

The Boatyard Distillery said today that it has successfully closed a £634,000 investment round through the Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN) from private investors and Co-Fund II. It also announced that it has started producing a new range of hand sanitiser in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

HBAN is a joint initiative of Invest Northern Ireland, InterTradeIreland and Enterprise Ireland, dedicated to the all-island promotion of business angel investment. HBAN allows companies from a wide range of sectors to pitch to angel investors for funding. Currently, there are around 80 registered members in Northern Ireland.

Co-Fund II is part of the Invest Northern Ireland’s Access to Finance portfolio and is managed by Clarendon Fund Managers.

Situated at Tully Bay Marina on the shores of Lough Erne, The Boatyard Distillery was set up in 2016 and currently produces Boatyard Double Gin, Old Tom gin and vodka. The company has secured deals with supermarket chains M&S and Waitrose to stock their products across Great Britain and Ireland.

In response to the coronavirus crisis, The Boatyard Distillery has also diversified and started using the ethanol it normally uses in drinks production to manufacture hand sanitiser, to World Health Organisation specifications. Boatyard has given away more than 1,200 litres of sanitiser to front line services in Fermanagh including to NHS key workers and supermarket staff and is now selling the product to customers in other industries, both locally and internationally. The sanitiser will be stocked in Tesco stores in Northern Ireland from this week.

Joe McGirr, founder of The Boatyard Distillery, said: “We are really pleased to secure this investment and excited about the unique experience our new investors will bring, particularly when it comes to growing our presence overseas. The gin market remains highly competitive but we offer something different, with some botanicals grown on the family farm.

“Right now, Covid-19 has interrupted some of our immediate plans but we have responded to the situation by being innovative and using our expertise to produce a product that is not only in high demand but which our health service and key workers desperately need. We are pleased to play our part in the fight against Covid-19 by donating supplies to help those people on the frontline doing great work for everyone in the Fermanagh region.”

Of the new investment into Boatyard, £460,000 came from HBAN business angels.

Brian Cummings, Investment Director at Clarendon Fund Managers, said: “The Boatyard Distillery has experienced tremendous growth over the last few years. Joe has continued to diversify the product offering and that has led to international success with a number of new global distribution deals agreed. Their ability to quickly pivot into the production of hand sanitiser demonstrates what an innovative business this is.

“We are delighted to see Boatyard attracting new investment from our network. HBAN gives companies the opportunity to pitch for business investment as well as access to business angels who have the knowledge and experience to take their business to the next level.”

Co-Fund II is supported by ERDF under the EU Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014-2020.

More information on HBAN can be found at: Anyone interested in joining the network and taking part in its next remote pitch event on May 27 should contact

CAPTION: Joe McGirr, founder of The Boatyard Distillery.

For further information contact:

Symon Ross at MCE:
T: 078 4066 8079

About Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN)

HBAN is a joint initiative of Enterprise Ireland, InterTradeIreland and Invest Northern Ireland, dedicated to the all-island promotion of business angel investment. The HBAN umbrella group supports the early stage entrepreneurial community across the island of Ireland and actively works to increase the number of angel investors investing in early stage companies.  The all-island umbrella group works on a regional basis to support the formation of new angel networks and works with existing angel networks to develop their capability and capacity, and across a range of industry sectors. HBAN also acts as a voice to Government, stakeholders, business and the media to promote the interests and needs of the wider angel investment community. HBAN is managed by Dublin BIC in partnership with the regional Irish BICs in Cork, Galway & Waterford and with Clarendon Fund Managers in Northern Ireland. Further information is available at

About Invest Northern Ireland

As the regional business development agency, Invest Northern Ireland’s role is to grow the local economy. The agency does this by helping new and existing businesses to compete internationally, and by attracting new investment to Northern Ireland. Invest NI is part of the Department for the Economy and provides strong government support for business by effectively delivering the Government’s economic development strategies.

About InterTradeIreland

InterTradeIreland is the only organisation which has been given responsibility by both governments to boost North South economic co-operation to the mutual benefit of Northern Ireland and Ireland. InterTradeIreland is a powerful resource for business growth, helping SMEs through a strong mix of business intelligence, funding support and meaningful contacts.

About Enterprise Ireland

Enterprise Ireland is the Irish government organisation responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets. The organisation works in partnership with Irish enterprises to help them start, grow, innovate and win export sales in global markets. In this way, Enterprise Ireland supports sustainable economic growth and regional development, and help create and sustain employment in Ireland.