(20 Jan 2020)






The National Off-Licence Association (NOffLA) has called on all political parties to make a commitment to commence Minimum Unit Pricing as a matter of priority following the General Election. The call was made at the annual Off-Licence of the Year Awards 2020 which took place at the Honorable Society of King’s Inns on Monday evening.

Now in its twenty-fourth year, the Awards recognise and showcase excellence in the independent off-licence sector, which represents 315 specialist businesses throughout the country. The Awards highlight those retailers that offer exceptional service to customers and demonstrate excellence in retail standards.

Speaking at the awards, NOffLA Chairman, Gary O’Donovan said, “The annual NOffLA Awards highlight the expertise of the independent off-licence sector, showcasing the benchmark of personal service in our industry, as well as the top-quality products offered by our highly trained, specialist members.”

NOffLA members have expressed concerns regarding the scale of deep discounting by supermarkets during the Christmas period as well the delays in commencing Minimum Unit Pricing more than 14 months since the Public Health (Alcohol) Act became law.    

NOffLA Chairman Gary O’Donovan further said that “As socially conscious independent retailers, NOffLA welcomed the Public Health (Alcohol) Act in 2018. Despite the passage of more than a year, however, we have seen little action to address the critical issue of deep discounting by supermarkets. Our members are concerned by the failure of this Government to commence Minimum Unit Pricing, and the serious health risk this poses to consumers.

“In light of this fact, we are calling on all political parties to make a clear commitment in their manifestos to immediately commence Minimum Unit Pricing and honour the spirit of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act by ending reckless alcohol retailing”.

The awards, which included 36 finalists, saw Jus de Vine awarded ‘National Off-Licence of the Year 2020’, O’Donovans Off-Licence Group win ‘Responsible Retailer of the Year 2020’ and Derren Green of Molloys Liquor Store Ballyfermot, win ‘RTC Online Trainee of the Year 2020’.

All 37 finalists were awarded certificates of either ‘Merit’ or ‘Excellence’ and a Customer Service Award based on their performance. Other awards on the night included:

The NOffLA Best First Time Entrant 2020 – Carry Out Off-Licence “The Reeks”, Killarney
The Peroni Food Retailer Off-Licence of the Year 2020 – Shiel’s Londis Off-Licence
The El Coto Customer Service Award of the Year 2020 – Gibneys Off-Licence
The Redbreast Spirit Specialist of the Year 2020 – Deveney’s of Dundrum
The Guinness Beer Specialist of the Year 2020 – McHugh’s Malahide Road
The Dona Paula Wine Specialist of the Year 2020 – Mitchell & Son CHQ
The Hennessy Munster Off-Licence of the Year 2020 – Galvins Carry Out Carrigaline
The Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin Connacht/Ulster Off-Licence of the Year 2020 – Dalys Drinks, Boyle, Co. Roscommon
The Vina Los Boldos & Finca Flichman Leinster Off-Licence of the Year 2020 – The Wine Centre, Kilkenny
The Bombay Sapphire Dublin Off-Licence of the Year 2020 – James Redmond & Sons
The NOffLA RTC Online Trainee of the Year 2020 – Derren Green, Molloys Liquor Store Ballyfermot
The NOffLA Responsible Retailer of the Year 2020 – O’Donovans Off-Licence Group
The NOffLA National Off-Licence of the Year 2020 – Jus de Vine

Judging for the awards began in June 2019 with the ongoing judging process culminating in a blind wine tasting which involved participants answering questions about the unidentified wines. Final awards were allocated following this process.

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