Wednesday, 4 September 2013


Poitin (pa-CHEEN) is spirit distilled from potatoes -- moonshine -- and farmers used to make it in hidden and isolated places.

"At Christmas all sorts of people used to come up the mountain looking for a drop," one old person said. "If you wanted the TDs (politicians) to do anything for you you had to provide them with poitin."

"Everyone always condemned it," another said. "Everyone always was after the poitin makers, yet it persisted, and to its credit, it saved lives. When the Great Flu was on, it made a disinfectant, it created tinctures for medicines, and of course it provided many desperately poor people with an income."

-- "Drop of the Craythur," RTE radio documentary, 1976.

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