Contested honey found to be “100 per cent Irish”

The Irish Food Awards say tests carried out on a honey brand by a convicted fraudster and her partner indicate that the produce is “100 per cent Irish.” Fraudster Julia Holmes who was being investigated by the FBI and other agencies was found dead alongside her partner Tom Ruttle  in Askeaton, last May. Blas na hÉireann Julia Holmes, who was also known as Croen Ruttle, operated a honey business called Irish Bee Sensations with her partner Tom Ruttle. Last year, their  Irish Heather Honey brand won a gold medal at  the Blas na hEireann, Irish Food Awards which were held in Dingle. A complaint was made about the origins of the product . A German laboratory carried out a pollen analysis of the honey which was sourced from a retailer. Blas na hÉireann and the Federation of Irish Beekeepers’ Association have examined the results. The beekeepers’ group is confident the samples are 100 per cent Irish. Artie Clifford of Blas na hÉireann says the results show that honey producer Tom Ruttle met all the criteria set out for entering their awards process. The Federation of Irish Beekeepers noted that the late Mr Ruttle was a well established beekeeper who’d been a member of the Kingdom Assocation in Kerry and that he’d been highly regarded by all who knew him.