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Irish Spirits Association Appoints First Female Chair

Aoife Clarke has been appointed chair of the Irish Spirits Association (ISA), where she will become the first female chair in its 20-year history.

Clarke previously held the role of vice-chair at the ISA and takes over from John Harte of Donohoes Drink Company.

Clarke has experience working in the drinks industry and in public affairs, both in Ireland and internationally. She has been the senior director of international public affairs at Beam Suntory for over four years, which owns Cooley Distillery. Prior to this, she was a senior executive at Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI) for over five years.

Speaking about her appointment, Clarke, highlighted that the Irish spirits industry is at an important point in time.

"The sector is undergoing vibrant growth and exports have increased substantially in recent years. Global sales of Ireland’s GI spirits – Irish Whiskey, Irish Cream and Poitín - totalled nearly 16 million cases or 200 million bottles in 2016." She said.

"There are huge opportunities ahead, especially for Ireland’s GI spirits. Irish whiskey is going from strength to strength and is now the fastest growing spirits category in the world. Irish Cream Liqueur is emerging from a lost decade, with sales on the rise again."

Ths ISA also announced that Pat Rigney of the The Shed Distillery, the makers of Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin, has been appointed vice-chair of the ISA.

© 2017 - Checkout Magazine by Donna Ahern

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