Cork company diverts from usual business to manufacture hand sanitizer for HSE

Cork company diverts from usual business to manufacture hand sanitizer for HSE
Mervue Laboratories are currently producing hand sanitizer for HSE staff.

Based in Watergrasshill, Mervue Laboratories usually manufactures a range of nutritional and pharmaceutical products for animals, but the company is now rowing in to help HSE workers by making hand sanitizer gel.

Mervue, in conjunction with Irish Distillers, commenced delivery of essential hand sanitizing gel to the Health Service Executive (HSE), delivering over 140,000 bottles to date and the company expects to deliver a further 60,000 by the end of this week.

Upon hearing about the nationwide shortage of hand sanitizing gel two weeks ago William Twomey, Director of Mervue Laboratories, decided to divert his team and normal manufacturing business to use his production facilities and the team in Mervue to tackle the shortage of hand sanitising gel.

Listening to the news reports and also following a conversation with his local Pharmacist, Ciaran O’Connor of the Bishopston Pharmacy, William was very concerned that lives would be lost due to the global shortage of hand sanitizing gel due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The hand gel produced by Mervue Laboratories.
The hand gel produced by Mervue Laboratories.

He spent a weekend on the phone trying to contact people that could help in getting the production of hand sanitizing gel up and running as fast as possible. 

This involved sourcing raw materials, packaging, labels, refining the formula, testing the formula and getting the necessary government licensing.

As one of the key ingredients of hand sanitizing gel is alcohol, over that weekend William contacted Brian Nation, the Head Distiller at Irish Distillers, manufacturers of Jameson and Powers Whiskey. 

Brian then put William in contact with Tommy Keane, the Production Director of Irish Distillers. 

The amazing team in Irish Distillers in Midleton came on board and partnered with Mervue to provide large quantities of alcohol, free of charge.

William said he is very proud of his team in Mervue and his partners Irish Distillers Team for the phenomenal work they have put in over the last few weeks to do their part in the fight against Covid-19.

"I cannot describe how thankful and proud we are for the handwork of everyone who is making significant sacrifices to keep us safe in these unprecedented times. 

"We are so happy to be able to make our contribution in helping the amazing teams in frontline services in our health system," he said.

He also paid tribute to a number of other organisations including the Department of Agriculture, Enterprise Ireland, Smurfit Kappa and Kerry Group for their help in the project.

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