Delaware shore residents might have detected a unique scent coming from a neighbor’s barbecue, fire pit, chiminea or fireplace. It may be the distinct aroma of an Irish peat fire, traditional in Ireland, and now available throughout the U.S., courtesy of Siobhán’s Irish Fire Logs.
Dan McQuade, a longtime Rehoboth homeowner, and Jane Howitt, proprietors of Siobhán’s Irish Fire Logs, are excited to bring this Irish staple to the U.S. consumer market. Peat has been used as a source of heat and energy in Ireland for centuries. Peat is harvested from bogs. It is cut from the top layer and then laid out to dry in the sun. It is 100 percent organic material and a wonderfully effective fuel source.
Siobhán's Irish Fire Logs are made from traditionally harvested rough peat. The peat brick (or briquette as they are commonly known) is a fuel that is virtually smokeless, slow-burning, and easy to store and transport. Briquettes are widely used to heat homes and business throughout the Ireland. Siobhán's Irish Fire Logs are briquettes made from the finest milled peat.
Peat burns hotter and longer than wood, causes little creosote build-up in chimneys, and has a lower ash count than wood. For McQuade and Howitt, however, to burn Irish peat is to evoke the warmth and spirit of Ireland.
McQuade remembers stories told by his great-grandmother Hannah (Siobhán in Irish) about how her family cottage in rural Ballydesmond, in County Cork, Ireland, was heated by peat. Hannah described the comfort and magic of peat fires, and described peat as “Irish Fire Logs” to her American descendants.
In 2013, McQuade was vacationing at Doonbeg, a golf resort and lodge in County Clare, Ireland, and throughout the lodge were fireplaces that burned Irish peat. He became convinced that peat would be welcomed as an alternative fuel source for American stoves, fireplaces, barbecues, and fire pits.
Since their initial inventory landed at the Port of Baltimore from Dublin, McQuade and Howitt have been spreading the word on the unique properties of Siobhán’s Irish Fire products. They have teamed with Martin Gottlieb, a lawn and garden sales specialist who leads their national sales efforts, along with a team of regional sales representatives. Siobhán’s Irish Fire Logs has distribution centers in Silver Spring, Md., and Joppa, Md.
Siobhán’s Irish Fire products have been introduced at local and national trade exhibits, most recently the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, Nev. The products are now available in select retail locations throughout the country, including Tomato Sunshine and Windsor Florists in Rehoboth Beach.
To find the nearest retail location or to learn more about Siobhán’s Irish Fire products, go to irishfirelogs.com.