The Underground Adventures of a Poitín Still

The first water tracing experiment in Ireland was carried out totally accidentally in North-West Cavan in the mid-nineteenth century.

At the time home distilling of poitín was common and raids by the authorities were common too. On hearing that the authorities were approaching, the owners of a poitín still in the vicinity of Garvagh Lough in the foothills of the Cuilcagh Mountains decided to conceal the evidence in the small stream issuing from the lake. This stream goes underground a short distance further on at the sinkhole called ‘Poll na h-Abhann’.

The excise men came and looked high up and low down but found no evidence of poitín making. When they had gone the men came to retrieve their still but it too had gone!
Some days later a man walking by the Shannon Pot was surprised to find a poitin still washed up on the bank.

The neighbours in Glan all celebrated that night believing that Sionna, the goddess of the great river had given them a gift in their time of need.

(Story provided by Seamus O’ hUltacháin)
Posted in Local Stories.