NEWS/PRESS (full article)
Kieran Tobin appointed new chair of Drinks Industry Group of Ireland
16 February 2009Kieran Tobin has been appointed the new Chairman of the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI).
Mr Tobin is currently the Communications and Corporate Affairs Director for Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard and was previously Commercial Director of Irish Distillers, following the merger of Irish Distillers Ltd and Fitzgerald & Co. in 2000. Mr Tobin succeeds Michael Patten, Global Public Policy Director of Diageo, who served as DIGI Chair from 2005-2008.
Speaking about his appointment, Mr Tobin stated that this will be a challenging year for the drinks industry in Ireland:
“As Chair of the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland, I will continue to raise the awareness of our contribution to the national economy. I will be emphasising our financial contribution to the State and our role as a major employer, providing some 100,000 jobs across the industry.
“This is an industry that we must nurture and be proud of. Our drinks products are market-leaders throughout the world and play a major role in raising Ireland’s profile on the international stage. They also contribute hugely to export-revenues, generating €1.25 billion every year.
“Our drinks brands are also vital for sustaining tourism in Ireland, with many of them having successful visitors’ centres that are popular destinations for incoming tourists. The hospitality sector – restaurants, pubs and hotels – make a very significant contribution to tourist infrastructure and our pubs continue to play an important and unique social and community function.
“While the overwhelming majority of Irish people enjoy alcohol in a moderate and responsible way, DIGI acknowledges that alcohol misuse remains a serious issue for society. I plan to ensure that the drinks industry continues to play an active role in addressing this problem through initiatives such as MEAS and drinkaware.ie, and promoting responsibility in all sectors.
“As with many other sectors of the Irish economy, 2009 will be challenging for the industry and for the 100,000 people who work in it. Our industry is undergoing rapid change and decline in consumption through social changes, economic difficulties and cross-border shopping. With this in mind I would urge the Government not to increase the burden on an industry that is already under significant pressure.”
Kieran Tobin has been the Communications and Corporate Affairs Director for Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard since 2002 and was previously Commercial Director of Irish Distillers, following the merger of Irish Distillers Ltd and Fitzgerald & Co. in 2000.
Fitzgerald and Co. was the wine and spirit agency subsidiary of Irish Distillers Ltd. Kieran Tobin was Managing Director of Fitzgerald & Co. from 1996, until it merged with IDL in 2000.
Kieran also held a number of senior export positions within Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard, culminating in his role as Export Director of the company.
Kieran has served on the Board of DIGI for seven years and has also been Chair of the Wine and Spirit Association, and Chair of the Taxation Group of CEPS, the European Spirits Organisation.