Irish Whiskey Association elects David Stapleton as new Chairman

Thursday, 3 January 2019

    New Chairman is Managing Director of Connacht Whiskey Company in Co Mayo
    Mr. Stapleton says “2019 will mark an important moment of transition for the Irish Whiskey Association” as IWA set to treble its budget following strategic review
    John Quinn, Global Brand Manager of Tullamore D.E.W., elected as Vice-Chair

The Irish Whiskey Association (IWA) has today elected David Stapleton as its new Chairman for the next two years.

Mr. Stapleton is Managing Director of The Connacht Whiskey Company located in Ballina, Co. Mayo. He is the outgoing Vice-Chairman of the Association and succeeds Colum Egan, Master Distiller of Bushmills as Chairman.

John Quinn, Global Brand Manager of Tullamore D.E.W., was elected as Vice-Chairman.

Speaking at the Biennial General Meeting of the IWA in Dublin today, Mr Stapleton said:

“I am honoured to be elected as Chairman at what marks an important moment of transition for the Irish Whiskey Association.”

“As sales of Irish whiskey continue to grow around the world, 2019 will represent an important year for the IWA, as we greatly upscale our activities to protect the Irish whiskey geographic indication, to the Irish whiskey category globally and to support high standards and innovation in the industry though ‘The Knowledge Still’ programme.

The IWA recently completed a strategic review process resulting in a decision by member companies to treble the Association’s budget from 2019, with a focus on developing its international protection and trade policy functions, including post-Brexit.

Mr. Stapleton added: “As the founder of one of the new wave of 21st Century Irish whiskey distilleries, I firmly believe that the future offers massive opportunities for the Irish whiskey category, particularly as we seek out more growth in more markets. However, the future will also bring challenges, from the potential impact of Brexit on All-island supply chains and trade with Northern Ireland to the increasing threat of protectionism in international trade. I look forward to working with the IWA team led by William Lavelle to ensure we leverage the opportunities, meet the challenges and continue to support the growth of Irish whiskey globally.”

Mr. Stapleton thanked and paid tribute to Colum Egan of Bushmills for his two years as Chairman. During his tenure, Mr. Egan oversaw the Strategic Review and personally initiated the Chairman’s Awards, recognising those who made an outstanding contribution to the Irish whiskey industry.

The Irish Whiskey Association is the All-island representative trade association of the Irish whiskey industry. The association forms part of Alcoholic Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI) and Ibec, Ireland’s business representative organisation.